NEW DELHI: The nation today remembered Mahatma Gandhi on his 145th birth anniversary with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders paying floral tributes at his memorial here.
Vice President Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh were among those who also paid homage to the Father of the Nation.
Naidu was the first to arrive at Rajghat, Mahatma Gandhi's 'samadhi', followed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi who was accompanied by former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
After a while, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived at Rajghat and paid floral tributes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a brief visit to the memorial. Clad in a light blue kurta and a white Nehru jacket, Modi arrived at Rajghat around 7:40 AM where he was received by Venkaiah Naidu.
He went straight to the 'samadhi' where after offering floral tributes, Modi bowed his head. Manmohan Singh and Modi greeted each other with folded hands when the latter approached the sitting area.
The Prime Minister sat there for some time before he left for his other engagements.
An all-religion prayer was conducted during the ceremony. The favourite hymns of Gandhi were also played on the occasion. A large number of schoolchildren, foreigners and common people had also gathered at the venue to pay tributes to Gandhi.
The Vice President also later arrived at the memorial. Delhi Congress President Arvinder Singh and CLP leader Haroon Yusuf also paid homage at Rajghat.
The nation also remembered former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on his 110th birth anniversary with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the nation in paying homage to the leader, who gave the slogan 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan', at his memorial at Vijay Ghat.
"Will go to Raj Ghat to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi & will pay tributes to Lal Bahadur Shastri ji at Vijay Ghat," Modi tweeted earlier today.
"Gandhi ji's thoughts & beliefs remain a great inspiration for us. Let us dedicate ourselves to building the India of Gandhi ji's dreams," he said in another tweet.
Urging the people to maintain cleanliness, which was dear to Gandhi, the Prime Minister launched the 'Swachh Bharat' campaign here.
A number of events were held across the country on the occasion.