India on Monday observed the 27th death anniversary of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated by LTTE suicide bombers on 21 May 1991.
A professional pilot, Rajiv was not keen to join active politics but was forced to join at the behest of his mother, Indira Gandhi, following the death of his brother Sanjay Gandhi in a plane crash in 1980.
Rajiv had won a historic mandate in 1984 just months after his prime minister mother Indira Gandhi was gunned down by her Sikh bodyguards in Delhi. He was the youngest prime minister at the age of 40.
Post his assassination, his wife Sonia Gandhi, now the UPA chairperson, went into political oblivion while refusing to enter active politics. However, when the Congress began to disintegrate as a result of internal fighting, Sonia Gandhi had to come out of her political wilderness and take charge of the party. Sonia successfully changed the fortune of the Congress and led her party to two back-to-back Lok Sabha elections victories in 2004 and 2009.
Meanwhile, some unseen photos of Rajiv and Sonia have now surfaced. In one photo, Rajiv is seen standing next to Sonia understandably near the India Gate in Delhi. Sonia is seen enjoying her ice cream as Rajiv is perhaps waiting to be served.
This photo was believed to have taken by a photographer called Baldev in late 1970s. 1970s. The couple had traveleld to India Gate soon after getting married.
In another photos Rajiv and Sonia are seen casting their votes along with the late actor Rajesh Khanna.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and others on Monday paid homage to the late prime minister on his 27th death anniversary. Priyanka Gandhi along with her husband Robert Vadra also paid tributes to the former PM at his memorial Veer Bhumi in Delhi.
Rahul, now the Congress president, also paid a rich tribute by posting an incredibly emotional message for his father. He wrote, “My father taught me that hate is a prison for those who carry it. Today, on his death anniversary, I thank him for teaching me to love and respect all beings, the most valuable gifts a father can give a son. Rajiv Gandhi, those of us that love you hold you forever in our hearts.”