The nation on Thursday paid tributes to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 18th death anniversary.
President Pratibha Patil, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the departed leader's widow and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi were among the first to pay floral tributes to the late leader at 'Veer Bhumi', the memorial of Gandhi.
Children of Gandhis, Congress MP Rahul and Priyanka along with her husband Robert Vadra were also present at the remembrance ceremony at the memorial, which was decorated with hundreds of white lotuses on the occasion.
Besides, Defence Minister A K Antony, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and a number of newly elected MPs, leaders of UPA allies like NC's Farooq Abdullah and Kerala Congress chief K M Mani also paid floral tributes at the memorial.
The remembrance ceremony began with the entry of 18 children signifying the 18th year of martyrdom of Gandhi. He was assassinated on May 21, 1991 by a LTTE suicide bomber during a public meeting at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu.
One of the children offered a length of Red Khadi in remembrance of the sacrifice of the late leader while another placed a 'diya' on the samadhi.