Prez, PM, top leaders pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, Shastri
New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top leaders paid tributes Monday to Mahatma Gandhi on his 148th birth anniversary and asked the people to follow the noble ideals of the Father of the Nation.
Modi paid floral tributes to the Mahatma and former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri at their 'Samadhis' at Raj Ghat and Vijay Ghat here.
"Bow to beloved Bapu on Gandhi Jayanti. His noble ideals motivate millions across the world," the prime minister tweeted.
In another tweet, he hailed Shastri as a source of inspiration for soldiers and farmers.
President Kovind also paid floral tributes to Gandhi and Shastri at their respective memorials.
"Homage to Bapu on #GandhiJayanti. His ideals of truth, non-violence and compassion continue to be our moral touchstone #PresidentKovind," said a tweet on the President of India's Twitter handle.
"Birthday tribute to Shastriji. Resolute wartime leader, founder of Green Revolution; inspired us with "Jai Jawan Jai Kisan" #PresidentKovind," another tweet on the President of India's Twitter handle said.
Unveiling a 1.8-metre-tall statue of Gandhi at Rajghat on his 148th birth anniversary, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said people should strive together to realise the dreams of the Mahatma and usher in 'Ram Rajya' where all are equal with no discrimination of any kind.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi also paid tributes to Gandhi and Shastri and urged people to take pledge to protect "till last breath" the ideas the Father of the Nation stood for.
"Remembering Bapu on his birth anniversary. Let's pledge to protect and defend the ideas he stood for till our last breath. #GandhiJayanti," he tweeted.
Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, along with other parliamentarians, paid floral tributes at the portraits of Gandhi and Shastri in the Central Hall of Parliament House.
Among those who paid tributes were Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Harsh Vardhan, Prakash Javadekar, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambi Durai.
Senior BJP leader and former deputy prime minister L K Advani and family members of Shastri also joined the leaders in paying tributes to the Father of the Nation and Shastri.
Governor of Manipur Najma Heptulla and Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao paid tributes to the Mahatma.
Chief Ministers of West Bengal (Mamata Banerjee), Manipur (N Biren Singh) and Tamil Nadu (K Palaniswami) also paid their homage to the Mahatma.
Born on this day in 1869, Gandhi led India's struggle for independence and also influenced movements for civil rights in other parts of the world. He was assassinated in January 1948.
Shastri, India's second prime minister, was born in 1904 and was in office between June 1964 and January 1966.
He had given the popular Jai Jawan Jai Kisan slogan in 1965 at a public gathering at Ramlila Maidan here.