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Rajiv got full majority in 1984 but never used power to create atmosphere of fear: Sonia

Rajiv got full majority in 1984 but never used power to create atmosphere of fear: Sonia

New Delhi, Aug 22 (UNI) In a veiled attack against the Narendra Modi-led Union government, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said that her husband Rajiv Gandhi too had got full majority in the 1984 Lok Sabha election but "he never used powers to create an atmosphere of fear or to destroy the freedom and liberty of the people".

"Rajiv Gandhi came to power in 1984 with full majority, but he never used powers 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", said Ms Gandhi while addressing the gathering of party leaders and workers at an event to commemmorate Rajiv Gandhi's 75th birth anniversary.

Referring to the electoral setback faced by the party in the recently held Lok Sabha polls, the Congress president said, "electoral ups and downs are inevitable. The challenges facing the party are formidable, but it must continue its ideological struggle against divisive forces.'

Speaking at the event, which took place on the same day that the CBI court had remanded former Finance and Home Minister P Chidambaram to five day CBI custody in a corruption charges related to INX Media case, Mrs gandhi said,'Rajiv ji never posed a threat to democracy. He never suppressed public opinion. His ethics and honesty always inspired him."

"As Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi gave the message that unity can be maintained by celebrating India’s diversity. His birth anniversary is an occasion to resolve to stand up and confront forces determined to destroy the values that inspired him,"she added.

She said that the Congress must continue its struggle against the "forces of divisiveness and those who want to change the idea of India".

"The work done by Rajiv ji is something that cannot be done merely with slogans and pride. Rather, it needs hard work and strong will", Ms Gandhi added.

Remembering the former Prime Minister's contribution to nation building, she said Rajiv Gandhi wanted to build a strong and self-reliant India.

"He wanted to build an India whose citizens get to live a respectable life, an India that moves forward on the energy of its youth. He made India fundamentally stronger. It was his commitment that the youth get voting rights at the age of 18 and that Panchayats should be strong", the Congress President added.

The event, held at the Indira gandhi stadium, was attended by senior leaders of the Congress including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party leader Rahul Gandhi, AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi and Chief Ministers of party ruled states Ashok Gehlot, Kaml Nath, Bhupesh Baghel and NarayanaSwamy.

Other leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, KC Venugopal, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, PCC chiefs, leader of the Legislative party, former Union Ministers, MPs also attended the event.

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