Describing Indira Gandhi as the “most acceptable” prime minister of a democratic country till today, President Pranab Mukherjee recalled her decisiveness while giving a subtle message to the present Congress leadership.
According to a PTI report in India Today , Mukherjee, in a veiled message to the party leadership to speed up decision-making in organisational matters, recalled the former prime minister’s decisive style of functioning that helped her party score comeback victories in state elections within a couple of months after the second Congress split of 1978.
Gandhi was one of the most remarkable personalities of the 20th century. And to the people of India, she still remains the “most acceptable” prime minister of a democratic country, President Mukherjee said to wide applause from an audience that comprised a galaxy of top Congress leaders.
“The Congress was defeated in 1977. I was a junior minister. She told me, Pranab, don’t get unnerved by the defeat. This is the time to act. And, she acted!” Mukherjee recalled
With Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi seated on the dais, flanked by Vice President Hamid Ansari and former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Mukherjee paid rich tributes to Indira Gandhi on the occasion of the release of a commemorative centennial volume on her life and works.
He also received the first copy of India’s Indira – A Centennial Tribute that was unveiled by Ansari. The Congress is celebrating the birth centenary of Indira Gandhi.
The book edited by senior Congress leader Anand Sharma is a compilation of life and work of Indira Gandhi and its foreword is written by Sonia Gandhi, who could not attend the function due to her ill health.
RAHUL READS MESSAGE FROM SONIA
Reading out Sonia Gandhi’s speech on her behalf, Rahul Gandhi said, “The brand of patriotism I saw in Indira Gandhi was a noble one that she imbibed from freedom struggle.”
Sonia said Indira Gandhi — her mother-in-law — was a friend and a mentor and “she was careful not to impose her will on me”.
Rahul, while quoting the Congress president said, “Indira Gandhi disregarded distinctions of rank, caste and creed. She had no time for snobbishness or ostentatious. She was quick to detect hypocrisy and insincerity. She was a proud Indian, but also a proud citizen of the world with a broad and tolerant outlook.”