Nation pays homage to first lady Prime Minister of country

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New Delhi, Nov 19 (UNI) The nation today paid tributes to late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, known as the Iron Lady of India, on her 91st birth anniversary.

Vice-President Mohd Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil led the nation in paying homage to Indira Gandhi on her birth anniversary at her memorial Shakti Sthal in the national Capital.

Her grandson and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi was also present.

Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and Congress president Sonia Gandhi also paid floral tributes at the departed leader's portrait in the Central Hall of Parliament.

Indira Gandhi served the country as the Prime Minister for three consecutive terms from 1966 to 1977 and for a fourth term from 1980 until her assassination in 1984. She was India's first and to date only woman Prime Minister.

She was assassinated by her bodyguards on October 31, 1984.

Once described by Henry Kissinger 'the only man in her cabinet', she was remembered for her contribution to foreign policy matters, especially for her role in the Non-alignment Movement.

Born on November 19, 1917 in the politically influential Nehru dynasty, she had taken many effective steps to make Indian economy strong.

She played a pivotal role in nationalising banks and opened their doors for the farmers to get loans. 'Green revolution' was also achieved during her rein, acknowledged Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who paid his tributes to the great leader and urged the people to realise the dreams of former prime minister and remain united.

Many state ministers and prominent leaders also paid their glowing tribute to Indira Gandhi at Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee's head office in Chandigarh.

Meanwhile, in Jharkhand the day was observed as ''anti-terror day''and a series of developmental programmes were launched on the day for the uplift of poor at JPCC office in Ranchi.

In Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy led the state in paying floral tributes to Indira Gandhi.

Puducherry Chief Minister V Vaithilingam, his cabinet collegues, legislators and senior officials of the territorial administration garlanded the statue of Indira Gandhi at Ellapillaichavady and remembered the departed soul.

UNI Team GT CS1940

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