Nation pays tributes to Indira Gandhi
New Delhi, Nov 19: President A P J Abdul Kalam led the nation in paying rich tributes to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her 89th birth anniversary.
A number of functions were held to commemorate the birth anniversary of the late Prime Minister and her contribution to nation building, development and national integration was remembered.
A wreath was placed on behalf of Dr Kalam at the Shakti Sthal Memorial of Ms Gandhi, while Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi visited the samadhi and offered floral tributes.
Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Delhi Lieutenant Governor B L Joshi, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Mr Rahul Gandhi also offered floral tributes at the Shakti Sthal as religious hymns were played in the background.
Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, the Prime Minister, the Congress President and many other senior congress leaders and parliamentarians paid floral tributes at the portrait of the former Prime Minister in Parliament House.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Defence Minister A K Antony, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Meira Kumar, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachouri and Ministers Sis Ram Ola and P K Bansal also paid their respects to the departed leader.
Grandson and MP Rahul Gandhi also paid tributes to Ms Gandhi.
Parliamentarians V Narayansamy, Deepender Singh Hooda, R K Dhawan, Ahmed Patel, Kirip Chaliha, Dr Chinta Mohan and Ms Nirmala Deshpande were also present on the occasion.
Congress leaders and former MPs Bhisma Narain Singh, M L Fotedar, R C Vikal, Vishwa Bandhu Gupta, Santokh Singh, P Shiv Shankar and Dileep Singh Bhuria also attended the function.
Mr PDT Achary and Dr Yogendra Narain, Secretaries General of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively also paid floral tributes to the portrait unveiled in 1987 by then President R Venkataraman.
A function was also organised at the Memorial of the late Prime Minister.
Ms Sonia Gandhi, also the chairperson of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, awarded disabled-friendly motorised vehicles on the occasion to 30 orthopaedically challenged people, including 15 women, selected from across the country.
The UPA chairperson also launched the Rajiv Gandhi foundation's 'Save the Kidney Project'. A well equipped mobile van was flagged off by Ms Gandhi as part of the project which aims to prevent End Stage Renal Disorders (ESRD) among the poor.