President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday led the nation in paying rich tributes to late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 68th birth anniversary.

The senior leaders paid floral tributes at Vir Bhumi, the samadhi of Rajiv Gandhi.

Rajiv’s wife and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, daughter Priyanka Vadra and her husband Robert Vadra, also laid flowers at the samadhi on the occasion.

Rajiv’s son and Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi was not seen at the memorial during the prayer programme.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, MoS in PMO V Narayanswamy, were among the other leaders who paid floral tributes at the samadhi.

School children, clad in white dress, later marched towards the samadhi with a Tricolour to showcase a performance depicting communal harmony. Classical devotional music was being played throughout the programme.

Rajiv Gandhi, who heralded the information and communication technology revolution in the country, was born on August 20, 1944 and served as the sixth Prime Minister of India from 1984-1989. He was assassinated by the LTTE on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu while addressing an election campaign.

At Parliament House, the Prime Minister and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar paid tributes to Rajiv Gandhi. Sonia was also present.

Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Leader of House and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde also paid floral tributes to Rajiv in the Central Hall.

Others who were present included Union Ministers Kapil Sibal, P.K. Bansal and V Narayanasamy.

A booklet containing the profile of Rajiv brought out in Hindi and English by the Lok Sabha Secretariat was presented to the dignitaries attending the function.

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