Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi got a massive mandate in 1984 but he never used that power to create an atmosphere of fear or to destroy the freedom and liberty of the people. "Rajiv Gandhi came to power in 1984 after winning getting massive mandate but he never used that power to create an atmosphere of fear or to destroy the freedom and liberty of the people. He never used his power to put the principles of democracy in danger," Sonia Gandhi said while speaking at an event to celebrate the former prime minister's 75th birth anniversary.
She was apparently referring to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party under Prime Minister Narendra Modi who got a brute majority by winning 303 seats in the recent parliamentary elections.
Gandhi said that that the former prime minister made India fundamentally stronger. "It was his (Rajiv Gandhi) commitment that the youth get voting rights at the age of 18 and that Panchayats should be strong. He wanted to build a strong and self-reliant India. An India whose citizens get to live a respectable life, an India that moves forward on the energy of its youth," the Congress interim chief said.
The Congress is celebrating Rajiv Gandhi Ji's 75th birth anniversary with memorial events across India. Speaking on Rajiv Gandhi's contribution, Sonia said that the former prime minister never posed "a threat to democracy, he never suppressed public opinion. His ethics and honesty always inspired him."
She further said that the Congress was facing formidable challenges but it must continue with its ideological struggle against divisive forces.