Remembering former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 29th death anniversary, PM Modi pays tribute

Updated on May 21, 2020 11:07 AM IST

As the nation remembers Gandhi on his 29th death anniversary, here’s revisiting the life of the Bharat Ratna recipient.

File photo of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.(File photo)
File photo of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.(File photo)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Sparshita Saxena

May 21 marks a sad day in the history of Indian politics. A day that will never be forgotten. On this day, twenty-nine years back, former prime minister and stalwart Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated during an election campaign in the year 1991.

As the nation remembers Gandhi on his 29th death anniversary today, here’s revisiting the life of the Bharat Ratna recipient.

Rajiv Ratna Gandhi was born on August 20, 1944, in Bombay, to former prime minister Indira Gandhi and freedom fighter, politician Feroze Gandhi. He served as the sixth prime minister of the country, from 1984 to 1989, and was also the youngest ever to hold the office.

Rajiv Gandhi took charge of the country as the prime minister after the assassination of his mother and former PM Indira Gandhi in the year 1984. Gandhi came from the politically powerful Nehru–Gandhi family, associated with the Indian National Congress party. His maternal grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India.

For most of his life, Gandhi remained apolitical. He went to the United Kingdom for studies and returned to India in 1966. Gandhi was a professional pilot for the state-owned Indian Airlines. In 1968, he married Sonia Gandhi, the current president of the Congress party and the United Progressive Alliance chairperson. The couple had two children Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Rahul Gandhi served as the party chief and is a Member of Parliament. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is the AICC general secretary at present.

Gandhi entered the political arena after the demise of his brother Sanjay Gandi in a fighter plane crash in 1980. A year later, he marked his political success by winning his brother’s Parliamentary constituency Amethi, Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha elections.

He also served as the Congress general secretary before assuming office as the prime minister.

Gandhi remained Congress chief until the 1991 Lok Sabha elections. On this day, twenty-nine years back, he was assassinated during an election campaign by an Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber.

His wife, Sonia Gandhi took charge of the Congress party and became the party president in the year 1998. 

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