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25 July 2020 00:30

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Sonia, Rahul recall 'bold leadership, achievements' of P.V. Narasimha Rao

New Delhi: Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday remembered the "bold leadership, achievements and contributions" of former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao in shaping modern India. Sonia Gandhi, in a message, said that the birth centenary of Narasimha Rao is an occasion to recall and pay tribute to a very scholarly and erudite personality. "After a long career in state and national politics, he became Prime Minister of India at a time of grave economic crisis. Sonia Gandhi said that Rao's tenure was also marked by a number of political, social, and foreign policy achievements and added that he was a dedicated Congressman. Rahul Gandhi also congratulated the Telangana PCC on organising a year-long celebration to commemorate the birth centenary of Rao. From joining the Congress party in his teenage years to becoming the Prime Minister of the largest democracy, his remarkable political journey reflected his grit and determination," he said.

Telangana PCC has made elaborate arrangements to hold the centenary celebrations of former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao from July 24. In what can easily be termed as a rare event in Indian politics, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi today heaped praises on Congress stalwart and former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao. The occasion was the inauguration of the year-long centenary celebrations of Narasimha Rao organised by the Telangana unit of the Congress party. Addressing party workers, Sonia Gandhi said the Congress takes pride in the accomplishments of Narasimha Rao, while her son Rahul Gandhi said Rao's contributions continue to shape modern India. These are rare praises coming from the Gandhi family for Narasimha Rao, a Congress stalwart with whom the Gandhi family had bitter relations when he was India's prime minister in the early 1990's. Narasimha Rao was only the second Congress prime minister who was not from the Nehru-Gandhi family, and continues to be the only one who does not have a memorial after his name in New Delhi.

Giving a glimpse of the animosity between the Gandhi family and Narasimha Rao, former Union minister and senior Congress leader Natwar Singh (who is said to have been close to Sonia Gandhi) wrote in his memoir: "He (Rao) said,'I can take on Sonia Gandhi. ALSO READ | Narasimha Rao felt 'insulted' by Sonia Gandhi's attitude on Rajiv assassination probe Rani Singh writes: "Each time Sonia Gandhi arrived, a crowd of enthusiasts and sycophants would start shouting and interrupt proceedings, sometimes for more than 10 minutes, and once right in the middle of one of PM Narasimha Rao's speeches. Last year, addressing the Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too took potshots at the Congress for having ignored PV Narasimha Rao's contribution, among others. He said, "I challenge the Congress if during its tenure between 2004 and 2014, if it ever praised the good works done by the government of PV Narasimha Rao at any public platform, then it should present its evidence before the House." PM Modi said PV Narasimha Rao should have been given the Bharat Ratna, Dr Manmohan Singh should have been given, but the "Congress party thinks that nothing should be given outside the 'family'." Describing PV Narasimha Rao as a "bold leader" and a dedicated Congressman, Sonia Gandhi said the Congress party "takes pride" in his accomplishments and contribution. Above all, he was a dedicated Congressman who served the party devotedly in various capacities," Sonia Gandhi said in a message that was read out by Telangana Congress President Uttam Kumar Reddy.

The Congress in Telangana launched year-long centenary celebrations of Rao on Friday. In her message, Sonia Gandhi also said Narasimha Rao was a "very respected national and international figure". She said the birth centenary of Narasimha Rao is an occasion to recall and pay tribute to the "most scholarly and erudite personality", who after a long career in state and national politics, was the prime minister of the country at a time of "grave economic crisis". Each time Sonia Gandhi arrived, a crowd of enthusiasts and sycophants would start shouting and interrupt proceedings, sometimes for more than 10 minutes, and once right in the middle of one of PM Narasimha Rao's speeches. Rahul Gandhi said July 24 marks the 29th anniversary of the 1991 budget that was brought by the then Narasimha Rao government and presented by the then finance minister Manmohan Singh.

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was finance minister in Narasimha Rao's cabinet, said Rao was a "great son of the soil" who can truly be called the father of economic reforms in India. Before becoming prime minister in 1991, Rao had sought permission from the then Congress president Rajiv Gandhi to retire. With Sonia Gandhi as Congress president, Narasimha Rao did not find a place in the Congress Working Committee despite him having been a former prime minister. New Delhi: Signalling a shift in the Congress' political posturing, the party high command heaped praises on late prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao Friday as part of celebrations marking the 29th anniversary of the 1991 economic reforms. Praising Rao's political milestones, Sonia, in her statement, said: "Above all, he was a dedicated Congressman who served the party devotedly in various capacities." On the occasion of Rao's birth anniversary last month, the Congress did not participate in any celebrations, even as the Telangana Chief Minister K.

Describing former Prime Minister as a dedicated leader, AICC President on Friday said the grand old party takes pride in his accomplishments and contribution. The Congress in Telangana launched the centenary celebrations of former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao on July 24. Congratulating the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee for having organised the year long celebrations, she said, "Shri was a very respected and international figure. The birth centenary of Rao is an occasion to recall and pay tribute to a most scholarly and erudite personality who after a long career in state and politics, the Prime Minister of the country at a time of "grave economic crisis", she added. Hyderabad: Congress President Sonia Gandhi has predicted that the party would win 2023 elections in Telangana and form government working in the spirit of former Prime Minister and son of the soil PV Narasimha Rao. She was speaking while participating in the birth centenary celebrations of Narasimha Rao through video conference here on Friday.