Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other senior party leaders participated in a prayer meeting at Sevagram Ashram in Maharashtra Tuesday on the 149th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Besides Rahul, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Working Committee (CWC) members paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Bapu Kuti, residence of the Father of the Nation during his last years.
They were accompanied by senior All India Congress Committee (AICC) leaders Ashok Gehlot and Mallikarjun Kharge.
Rahul planted a sapling in the ashram next to the tree which his father and former prime minister late Rajiv Gandhi had planted on this day in 1986.
This is the Congress chief’s second visit to the ashram. He had earlier planted a sapling on January 24, 2014.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said the party practised the politics of “sadbhavna” (inclusiveness).
“Paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi is not new for us. It is the BJP which is remembering Gandhiji and Sardar Patel now,” he told reporters.
The Congress leadership has converged in the Sevagram village, located around 10 km from Wardha district headquarters, to attend the meeting of the CWC, the highest decision-making body of the party, to be held here after more than 70 years.
Holding the CWC meeting in Wardha has a lot of symbolism attached to it.
“The preliminary deliberations of Individual Satyagraha were held in Sevagram in 1940. The CWC met in Sevagram and adopted the resolution on Quit India movement on July 14, 1942,” a Congress leader said earlier.
The Quit India movement was launched in Mumbai on August 8, 1942.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Karnataka chief minister Siddharamaiah, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, ex-Union ministers Shivraj Patil, Sushilkumar Shinde and A K Antony, former Haryana chief minister B S Hooda and ex-Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat were present at the prayer meet.