10 Years After Death, Narasimha Rao Gets a Memorial in Delhi

New Delhi
10 Years After Death, Narasimha Rao Gets a Memorial in Delhi

Ten years after his demise, former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, who was disowned by Congress and denied a memorial in Delhi by its government, has finally got his due respect in the form of a 'samadhi' here.

A memorial ghat is ready for Rao at 'Rashtriya Smriti', close to the memorials of all the former Presidents and Prime Ministers, a senior Urban Development Ministry official said.

It has been made ready to coincide with the late leader's birth anniversary, which was two days back.

Rao, who headed a Congress government between 1991 and 1996, was disowned by his party. After his death in 2004, the Congress-led UPA government had denied any memorial to him.

The UPA government, in fact, had gone further and decided in 2013 that there will be no more separate memorials for any leader, citing paucity of space.

The memorial is raised on a plinth in marble with a plaque bearing text highlighting briefly his contributions.

"Known as the scholar Prime Minister of India, Shri P V Narasimha Rao was born on 28th June, 1921 in Laknepalli Village, Warangal District in Telangana state. He rose to prominence as freedom fighter who fought the misrule of the Nizam during the formulative years of his political career," the plaque reads.

It goes on to add, "A reformer, educationist, scholar, conversant in 15 languages and known for his intellectual contribution, he was called the 'Brihaspati' (wiseman) of the Andhra Pradesh Cabinet between 1962 and 1971. He was the first Chief Minister to implement land reforms in the country in 1972.

"As a minister in the Union Cabinet from 1980-1989, he held various portfolios and brought in lasting changes in them. As Prime Minister of India, he ushered in economic reforms and laid the foundations for a strong and vibrant economy in India.

"PV Narasimha Rao died on 23rd December 2004, leaving behind a lasting legacy. He is fondly remembered as the architect of vibrant India," it says.

The Urban Development official said barring the work of putting up a mesh around the memorial, the memorial is complete and anyone who wants to pay respect can visit the site.

On Rao's birth anniversary two days back, Prime Narendra Modi had paid rich tributes to the former Prime Minister who was seen as harbinger of economic reforms in the country.

"Tributes to Shri PV Narasimha Rao on his birth anniversary. We remember him as a wonderful scholar with very rich political experience," Modi had said.

Urban Development Minister M Venakaiah Naidu had visited the site on June 15 and asked the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) to complete the works relating to the memorial ghat for Rao ahead of the former Prime Minister's birth anniversary.

Naidu had earlier moved a proposal for the approval of the Union Cabinet for building a memorial for Rao at 'Ekta Sthal' which is now integrated with 'Rashtriya Smriti', a common place for erecting memorials for former Presidents, Prime Ministers and others, with the approval of the Union Cabinet.

Built over 22.56 acre land, Ekta Sthal is situated between Vijata Ghat and Shanti Van near the Yamuna river.

The complex currently houses memorials of former Prime Ministers IK Gujral and Chandra Sekhar, former Presidents Giani Zail Singh, Shankar Dayal Sharma, KR Narayanan and R Venkataraman.

"The samadhi complex was built to accommodate nine memorials. While six have been occupied, three are still vacant," an official had said then.

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