New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday turned 51 with party leaders and workers wishing him on his birthday, which he has decided not to celebrate in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rahul Gandhi was born to Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi on June 19, 1970, in Delhi.
The Delhi Congress has decided to observe the day as “Sewa Diwas” and is distributing face masks, medicine kits and cooked meals free of cost to the poor in the national capital.
The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), the Congress’ students’ wing, is organising a free vaccination camp to mark the occasion, while the Youth Congress is distributing free ration to the needy in Delhi.
Some state Congress committees are observing the day by distributing ration and other essentials at no cost to the poor and the needy.
Wishing their leader, the Congress said on Twitter, “We wish Shri Rahul Gandhi health and happiness on his birthday.”
“In view of the second Covid wave and the incredible difficulties people are facing, Mr Gandhi has chosen not to celebrate his birthday. Instead, he has urged Congress workers to continue their relief work around India,” the party said.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Twitter wished the Wayanad MP on his birthday and for good health and happiness.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari tweeted, “Birthday greetings to Shri @RahulGandhi ji. May you be blessed with good health and long life.”
Chief ministers M K Stalin (Tamil Nadu), Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi), Hemant Soren (Jharkhand), Conrad Sangma (Meghalaya), Amarinder Singh (Punjab), Ashok Gehlot (Rajasthan) and Bhupesh Baghel (Chhattisgarh) and Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh) wished Rahul Gandhi on Twitter.
“Wishing my beloved brother Rahul Gandhi on his birthday and I join others in praising his selfless, untiring work to establish an egalitarian India in every aspect. His commitment to the ethos of the Congress party has been exemplary,” Stalin said on Twitter.
The Punjab chief minister said that he was proud of the Congress leader’s hard work and his abiding commitment to serve the people of the country.
“Rahul ji is genuinely concerned about the welfare of the poor and downtrodden. I wish he succeeds in his endeavours,” said Gehlot.
Baghel said that it is not easy to stand before the opposing tide and Rahul Gandhi is doing so and setting an example by standing above politics of compromise.
Rahul Gandhi responded to some of the wishes on Twitter.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted, “To a true leader, who battles the challenges with truth, honesty, compassion and courage. To a leader for whom righteous means are as important as the goal. Wishing Rahul Gandhi ji more power to keep fighting the good fight.”
All India Congress Committee general secretary KC Venugopal also wished Gandhi, saying, “It’s been a difficult year and you’ve continued to lead our people with love and sincerity.”
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah wished Rahul Gandhi for his birthday, good health and many years ahead in the service of the nation, while former prime minister and JD(S) president H D Devegowda on Twitter said, “I wish him well, and sincerely pray that his view of the world and his compassion defeats the narrowness that surrounds us.”