New Delhi, May 21: Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her husband Robert Vadra paid tributes to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 24th death anniversary at Vir Bhumi here on Thursday. [PM Modi pays tribute to Rajiv Gandhi]
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and senior Congress leaders like Ajay Maken and PC Chacko also remembered Rajiv Gandhi, who was killed by a suicide bomber during an election rally in Sriprumbudur in Tamil Nadu in the night of May 21, 1991.
Rajiv Gandhi had become the prime minister in 1984 after his mother Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards at her residence. He won a massive mandate in the next election and was in power till 1989.
His government's Sri Lanka policy had come under severe criticism and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka believed that he could send the Indian Peace Keeping Force back to the island nation had he been elected to power in 1991. Hence his assassination was planned, it is alleged.
The Congress had returned to power in 1991 riding on the sympathy wave generated by Rajiv Gandhi's death.
May 21 is observed as Anti-Terrorism day in India since the tragedy.