NEW DELHI: Former Prime Minister and Congress leader P V Narasimha Rao, who was denied a memorial in the national capital by the UPA Government, has finally got his due in the form of a ‘samadhi’ on the banks of the Yamuna, besides Shakti Sthal, the memorial to Indira Gandhi.
Almost 10 years after his death, the Urban Development Ministry has built a memorial ghat, Rashtriya Smriti, in Rao’s honour.
The construction of Rashtriya Smriti, lying close to the memorials of all other former Prime Ministers and Presidents, will be completed by July 31.
“A memorial ghat is ready for Rao at Rashtriya Smriti. The memorial is raised on a plinth in marble with a plaque bearing text highlighting his contributions,” said a senior ministry official.
Rao, who headed the Congress government between 1991 and 1996, was almost disowned by his party after his death in 2004. In 2013, the Congress-led UPA Government decided that there would be no more separate memorials for any leader, citing the paucity of space.
“Known as the scholar Prime Minister of India, P V Narasimha Rao was born on 28th June, 1921 in Laknepalli Village, Warangal District in Telangana state. He rose to prominence as a freedom fighter who fought the misrule of the Nizam during the formulative years of his political career,” the plaque reads.
“A reformer, educationist and scholar conversant with 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,” the plaque reads further. “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. P V Narasimha Rao died on 23rd December 2004, leaving behind a lasting legacy. He is fondly remembered as the architect of vibrant India.”