President Pratibha Patil on Friday led the nation to pay homage to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on the 19th anniversary of his killing by a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber.

The president, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Rajiv Gandhi’s widow and Congress president Sonia Gandhi visited Veer Bhumi, the late prime minister’s memorial here, and placed flowers.

Rajiv Gandhi’s son and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, daughter Priyanka and other members of the family also visited Veer Bhumi besides Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Congress MPs and other leaders.

Gandhi, son of former prime minister Indira Gandhi, was assassinated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sriperumbudur near Chennai during an election rally May 21, 1991.

He became the youngest prime minister of the country at the age of 40 in 1984, soon after his mother was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards.

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