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former PM Manmohan Singh turns 87, wishes pour in from across political divide

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: September 26, 2019  | 21:01 IST

(Eds: Adding details) New Delhi, Sep 26 (PTI) President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders across party lines wished former prime minister Manmohan Singh on his 87th birthday on Thursday and recalled his selfless service to the nation, with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi saying present day leaders have much to learn from him. A host of Congress leaders visited Singh to wish him, while Prime Minister Modi sent him a letter in Punjabi. Modi also tweeted birthday greetings. "Best wishes to our former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh Ji on his birthday. I pray for his long and healthy life," he wrote. Singh, who served the country as prime minister for two terms between 2004 an 2014, spent the evening with his family for a quiet dinner. Singh also received telephonic greetings from President Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Sonia Gandhi. Former president Pranab Mukherjee, ex-vice president Hamid Ansari also extended their greetings. The president, the vice president, the prime minister and the Congress chief also sent him birthday bouquets. Prominent among some other leaders who met him during the day include Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. They were Ministers of State in the PMO when Singh was PM. Singh also received a telephone call from former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who greeted him on his birthday. Extending greetings to Singh, Sonia Gandhi said leaders leaders across the spectrum have much to learn from his innate wisdom. Recalling his tremendous contribution to the task of nation-building, inclusive growth and economic resurgence, she said, "His sagacious leadership ensured that India took a determined leap forward, even during trying times." "Present day rulers across the spectrum have much to learn from his innate wisdom," she said. Former President Mukherjee tweeted, "Birthday greetings to Dr #ManmohanSingh. Not only a stalwart economist who shaped the economic landscape of India, you have been my 'Prime Minister', a long time colleague and above all a close friend. May you have a long and healthy life and many more years in service of the Nation." Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wished good health and happiness to Singh. "On his birthday, let us acknowledge Dr Manmohan Singh Ji's selfless service, dedication & incredible contribution to the cause of nation building. My best wishes to him on his birthday. I pray for his good health and happiness in the years to come," Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter. BJP leader and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, "Greetings and warm wishes to former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh ji on his birthday. I wish him good health and a long life." Former finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram, who is currently lodged in Tihar Jail, asked his family to tweet birthday wishes on his behalf. "I urge the Government to listen to the wisdom of Dr Manmohan Singh. If anyone can show the way for the country to come out of the current economic slump, it is Dr Singh," he said on Twitter. Chidambaram also said, "The fundamental error of the Government's approach is that it has not understood the main causative factor of the economic slowdown - it is lack of demand and a growing pessimism about jobs, wages and opportunities". Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said Singh's wisdom is needed now more than even before, as he recalled his momentous days and the historic budget of 1991. "Today Dr Manmohan Singh turns 87. He transformed the Indian economy with his budget of July 24, 1991. I have described those momentous days in To the Brink & Back: India's 1991 Story. His wisdom is needed now more than ever before," Ramesh tweeted. The Congress also put out a video Singh's detailing Singh's life. "As we celebrate Former PM Dr. Manmohan Singh, we look back at some of his greatest achievements. He has served our country for several decades & continues to do so with his renowned intelligence, humility & dedication," the party said on its official Twitter handle. Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel also tweeted, We are indebted to him (Singh) for his service and contribution in nation building & transforming the lives of all Indians." Former JD(U) president Sharad Yadav wished Singh on his birthday and tweeted, "Wishing a happy birthday to #ManmohanSingh. Persons like Dr. Manmohan Singh are rarely born. Pray for his good health and long life." Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also wished him on his birthday. "Best wishes to former Prime Minister Dr. #ManmohanSingh Ji on his birthday. Wish him a long, healthy and happy life" Gehlot tweeted. "Best wishes to Dr Manmohan Singh ji on his birthday. He played a vital role in India's recognition as an Economic Superpower and the nation will forever be indebted for same. May God bless him with health & happiness," Amarinder Singh said. DMK chief MK Stalin said, "Our country continues to benefit from Dr Singh's leadership in Parliament and politics. I wish him many more years in service to the country and its people" he said. PTI SKC SKC TIR TIR

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