Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated because he loved peace: Chidambaram

| Updated: May 22, 2017 04:31 IST

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], May 21 (ANI): Former finance minister and Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Sunday broke down while remembering late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and said that he was assassinated because he was a "messenger of peace." Speaking on the occasion of 25th death anniversary of the former prime minister of India at a memorial event, Chidambaram likened him with leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, and Abraham Lincoln, who were known for their regard for peace and hence, subsequent assassination. "It is not new to see messengers of peace getting assassinated. Jesus Christ was a messenger of peace, so were Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, and John F. Kennedy. Our Rajiv Gandhi was a messenger of peace and hence he was assassinated," he said. Chidambaram said once Rajiv Gandhi was elected as the prime minister, he undertook many peace tours in the country. He added that it was during such peace tour, where he tried to solve the issue of the Sri Lankan Tamils, that he was assassinated. "There are so few, who adored peace to such an extent. Once taken charge he undertook many visits including Punjab, Kashmir, Mizoram and brokered many peace deals. It was during this peace tour, which could have benefitted them, if successful. It could have granted them equal citizenship, language sovereignty, but some militants belonging to that community ultimately killed him," he said. Chidambaram further said Rajiv Gandhi was never fixated on building nuclear arsenal and conducting nuclear tests, rather he was focussed on brining tectonic changes to the telecommunication sector in India. "Under Indira Gandhi, India conducted Pokhran test and it was able to enter the elite club. However, Rajiv Gandhi was never in favour of developing nuclear weapons. He could have piled up nuclear weapons, could have developed atom bombs, hydrogen bomb, but he never allowed, the reason being he was a peace lover," he added. Born on August 20, 1944 Rajiv Gandhi served as the sixth Prime Minister of India from 1984 to 1989. He took office after the assassination of his mother, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in a suicide bombing at Tamil Nadu's Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991. (ANI)