Cong keeps off Rao's 90th birth anniversary | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Cong keeps off Rao's 90th birth anniversary

delhi Updated: Jun 29, 2010 00:15 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times

"A heartfelt homage to the humanitarian beyond compare," said an Andhra Pradesh government advertisement in its tributes to former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao on his 90th birth anniversary on Monday.

The Congress government in Andhra Pradesh had drawn up an elaborate programme to commemorate the birth anniversary of "the great son of the soil" in Hyderabad and Delhi's Andhra Bhavan.

However, the function in Delhi was a low-key affair.

While Congress leaders — even from Andhra Pradesh — gave a miss to the function, Rao's trusted loyalists MS Bitta of the Anti-Terrorist Front and controversial godman Chandraswami were present to pay tributes to the former prime minister.

Former Election Commissioner GVG Krishnamurthy also attended the function.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who used to regularly pay tribute to Rao by visiting the Andhra Bhavan, was away in Canada this time to attend a G-20 summit.

Singh was finance minister in the Rao government that was in office from 1991 and 1996 and is credited with initiating the path-breaking economic reforms.

The party rarely makes a mention of Rao in any of its programmes or documents.

Even the Congress campaign for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections spoke of the party's heritage and achievements and focused on key Congress leaders and former prime ministers but avoided mentioning Rao's name.