Narasimha Rao memorial ready in capital

Narasimha Rao memorial ready in capital

Ten years after his demise, former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao finally got his due respect in the form of a Samadhi in the national capital.

Rao, who headed the Congress government between 1991 and 1996, was disowned by his party. After his death in 2004, the Congress-led UPA government had denied him any memorial. The UPA government, in fact, had gone further and decided in 2013 that there would be no more separate memorial for any leader, citing paucity of space.

However, Rao's memorial ghat is ready for Rao at “Rashtriya Smriti”, close to the memorials of all former Presidents and prime ministers on the bank of the Yamuna river, said a senior Urban Development Ministry official.

Barring the work of putting up a mesh around the area, the memorial is complete and anyone who wants to pay respect can visit the site, said the official. The memorial is raised on a plinth in marble with a plaque bearing text briefly highlighting his contributions.

The plaque says the “scholar prime minister of India” was born on June 28, 1921, in Laknepalli Village in Telangana's Warangal district, and rose to prominence as a freedom fighter who “fought the misrule of the Nizam during the formative years of his political career”.

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,” it says.
Rao died on December 23, 2004, “leaving behind a lasting legacy”, it says, adding: “He is fondly remembered as the architect of vibrant India.”

Urban Development Minister M Venakaiah Naidu had earlier moved a proposal for the Union Cabinet's approval for building a memorial for Rao at “Ekta Sthal”.

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