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Milkwash for Rajiv

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD, FEB. 14 . The Congress today performed "ksheerabhishekam" ( a ritual milk bath) to a statue of Rajiv Gandhi here marking the former Prime Minister's recent exoneration by the Delhi High Court in the Bofors case. Senior leaders emptied 17 vessels of milk on the statue, each, it is stated, representing one-year of "political mudslinging" and "mental torture".

The brainchild of the AICC secretary, V. Hanumantha Rao, the function at the Somajiguda junction here provided Mr. Rao, a diehard supporter of the Nehru-Gandhi family, and other Congress leaders an opportunity to demonstrate their loyalty to the Gandhi family. Mr. Rao performed a similar `abhishekam' in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.

Party leaders paid rich tributes to Rajiv Gandhi and spoke of his unfinished dream of taking the country into the 21st century. They lashed out at the BJP and other parties for levelling baseless charges and tarnishing his image. The court, they claimed, could not establish an iota of evidence of his involvement in the Bofors case. The foundation for much of the development claimed by the present rulers was laid by the Rajiv Gandhi Government. The country could have progressed faster had he continued in office.

The CWC member, B. Sarojini Pulla Reddy, the former PCC presidents M. Satyanarayana Rao, P. Narsa Reddy, former ministers P. Janardhan Reddy, M. Sasidhar Reddy, and others spoke.

The programme caused a traffic jam for four hours in the busy intersection, inconveniencing the office and school-going people at the peak hour.

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