Sonia, Rahul Gandhi praise ‘bold’ PV Narasimha Rao, neglected for years
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi have written congratulatory letters to the Telangana unit of the party for organising a year-long celebration on the birth centenary of former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao.
“The birth centenary of Narasimha Rao is an occasion for us to recall and pay tribute to the scholarly and erudite personality,” Sonia Gandhi’s message said. “After a long career in state and national politics, he became Prime Minister of India at a time of grave economic crisis. Through his bold leadership, our country was able to overcome many challenges successfully. The Union Budget of July 24, 1991, paved the way for the economic transformation of our country,” it added.
Sonia also mentioned that Rao’s tenure was marked by a number of political, social, and foreign policy achievements and highlighted that he was a dedicated Congressman.
“I congratulate the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee for having organised these year-long celebrations. PV Narasimha Rao was a very respected national and international figure. The Congress party takes pride in his many accomplishments and contributions,” she added.
Rahul too congratulated the Telangana unit for organising the year-long celebrations to commemorate Rao’s many achievements.
“On this occasion, we celebrate the legacy of a man whose contribution continues to shape modern India. From joining the Congress party in his teenage years to becoming the Prime Minister of the largest democracy, his remarkable political journey reflected his grit and determination,” Rahul said in a statement.
“July 24 marks the twenty-ninth anniversary of the 1991 budget. On this day, India embarked on a bold new path of economic transformation. Rao and Dr Manmohan Singh played a pivotal role in ushering in the era of liberalisation,” he added.
The Congress has earlier been accused of distancing itself from the former prime minister. When Rao died in 2004, unlike other prime ministers and party chiefs, his mortal remains were kept outside the AICC office. Rao’s grandson, NV Subhash, even went on record to say that he had been ‘sidelined’ by the party. Subash told a news agency that Sonia and Rahul should apologise for the ‘injustice’ done to him.
Rao, who started his career as a young party worker, served as a legislator in erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh from 1957 to 1977. As a cabinet minister (1962 to 1970), he handled various portfolios, after which he served as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh in 1971.
In 1972, Rao became a member of parliament and finally took over as prime minister in 1991. Rao is considered one the architects of the LPG (liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation) policies in India.