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Nation celebrates Rajiv Gandhi's birth anniversary

August 20, 2004 20:37 IST

With the Congress back in power at the Centre after eight years, the 60th birth anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was celebrated in a grand manner on Thursday.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president and the late leader's wife, Sonia Gandhi, had a hectic day attending several ceremonies, including one at Rajiv Gandhi's memorial, Vir Bhumi.
They also unveiled a statue of the leader in the Parliament complex.

Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, several Union ministers and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit joined Singh and Sonia at Vir Bhumi.

Rajiv Gandhi's son Rahul, daughter Priyanka and her husband Robert Vadra also attended the ceremony.

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav inaugurated a computerised railway reservation centre at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the capital to mark the occasion.

The Congress government in Andhra Pradesh launched 'RAJiv' (Rajiv Internet Village) programme aimed at delivering a host of services to villages through electronic kiosks.

Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy launched the project which envisages setting up of 1,000 rural kiosks in the first
phase, 5,000 in the second and over 16,000 in the third phase covering all the panchayats in the state.

In Ludhiana, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh exhorted the youth to emulate the late leader who envisioned India to be a superpower in the 21st century.

In Chennai, Tamil Nadu government employees marked the day as 'Sadhbhavana Divas'.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi in a fax message to Sonia Gandhi, said: "I join with your feelings and commitments in continuing the deeds, thoughts and dreams of our beloved Rajiv Gandhi in taking our nation in the forefront of the world."

The All Assam Pradesh Congress Committee organised a memorial service at its headquarters, Rajiv Bhavan, in Guwahati. The ceremony was presided over by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

Former cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin flagged off a race - Run for the Nation - organised by the Madhya Pradesh Youth Congress and Madhya Pradesh Youth Organisation in Bhopal.

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