Against the backdrop of controversy over his remarks on democracy and definition of loyalty in the Congress, senior party leader and HRD Minister Arjun Singh on Wednesday heaped praise on Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi saying they have filled the void created by Rajiv Gandhi's death.
"After the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, a vacuum was natural... We, however, are fortunate that this vacuum was filled by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi," Singh said at a function in Lucknow.
The minister was speaking at a function, organised here by the Backwards Cell of Uttar Pradesh Congress, to observe the 17th death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
The veteran Congress leader chose the occasion to pay rich tributes to Rajiv Gandhi, saying for him patriotism and the country's interests were supreme.
"Only a person who is totally committed to the nation can make an attempt like Rajiv Gandhi did to bring murderers of his mother into the mainstream", the HRD minister.
Singh said Rajiv Gandhi always took up the cause of weaker sections of society and this resulted in increased representation of women in the Panchayat Raj system.