Prime Minister Narendra Modi today skipped the event commemorating the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the Shakti Sthal memorial where President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and top leaders of the Congress paid floral tributes to her.
The dignitaries including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi drove to the memorial where they placed floral wreaths at the spot where she was laid to rest even as Modi flagged off a ‘Unity Run’ to mark 139th birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.
Devotional songs were played at Shakti Sthal. A speech of the late leader was also played on the occasion. There was also an event at her residence where she was shot dead on this day 30 years ago which had been converted into a memorial.
Expressing Congress’ displeasure over government keeping away from the event to pay homage to Gandhi, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari said Indira Gandhi lived and died for the nation and it was the responsibility of every government to honour her sacrifice.
The event at Shakti Sthal, organised by Congress, was attended by party leaders Motilal Vora, M Veerappa Moily, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Ahmed Patel, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Digvijay Singh and Shakeel Ahmad besides others.
In the past Atal Behari Vajpayee as Prime Minister had visited Indira Gandhi’s memorial to pay homage on her death anniversary.
Earlier in the day, Modi tweeted:”I join my fellow countrymen & women in remembering former PM Smt. Indira Gandhi on her Punya Tithi.”
In his address at the Rajpath to commemorate birth anniversary of Patel, India’s first Home Minister, Modi had referred to the day as Indira Gandhi’s death anniversary.
Modi’s ministerial colleague Harsh Vardhan, who is on an official visit in Spain also paid homage to Gandhi.
“Remember Indira Gandhi the former PM of India who had to sacrifice her life on this day thirty years back – shall always be remembered,” he said in a tweet.