Andhra Pradesh

Rajiv Gandhi’s ‘Last Journey’ began in Vizianagaram on May 21, 1991

Former Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi’s election campaign in North Andhra region on May 21, 1991.

Former Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi’s election campaign in North Andhra region on May 21, 1991. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s ‘Last Journey’ began from Fort City on the fateful day of May 21, 1991, Exactly, thirty years ago, people of ​people of Vizianagaram were in full of joy till evening and surrounded by complete sadness by late night at around 11 p.m.

The reason for their joy and sorrow was Rajiv Gandhi, the former Prime Minister. Mr. Rajiv with a smiling face toured in Vizianagaram and participated in election campaign on the same day at Foot Ball Ground to ensure victory for Congress Party candidate Ananda Gajapathi Raju. He was given a rousing reception at public meeting and cantonment parade ground. Irrespective of the political ideology, people of Vizianagaram used to respect the leaders of all the parties in those days.

It was the main reason for the huge crowds as they wanted to see the national leader Rajiv Gandhi. However, their joy turned into sadness by late night with his assassination at Sri Perumbudur of Tamil Nadu. A pall of gloom descended in the entire Fort City with the spread of the shocking news at around 11 pm on May 21, 2021.

“After completion of Vizianagaram tour, he went to Visakhapatnam. Pilots of the scheduled flight informed him that there was a technical snag and tour might be postponed. But in a few hours, he got information that plane was ready. And it has become a lost journey for him, if the flight was missed, he could have been alive till today,” said Elisetty Suresh Kumar, a political analyst who was present in the public meeting.

In fact, former Minister Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv Gandhi had special attachment with Fort City, thanks to their personal association with PVG Raju, founder of MANSAS Trust and father of Pusapati Ananda Gajapathi Raju. It was the main reason for their visit to Fort City in many a time. Mrs. Indira addressed public meetings in Ayodhya Maidan during elections. Mr. Rajiv continued the legacy and visited the Fort City when was in power.

“Mr. Rajiv Gandhi sanctioned special funds for North Andhra after assessing the drought situation in 1985-86. He sanctioned Navodaya School to Vizianagaram district. We cannot forget the towering personality in our lifetime. The country’s fate and Congress Party’s future could have been different if he was alive,” said Jaggina Adinarayana, a senior journalist.


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Printable version | Feb 13, 2022 2:02:17 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/rajiv-gandhis-last-journey-began-in-vizianagaram-on-may-21-1991/article34612324.ece