New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were among a host of politicians to wish former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, who turned 87 on Thursday, a very happy birthday.
PM Modi, wishing his predecessor, tweeted, “Best wishes to our former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh ji on his birthday. I pray for his long and healthy life.”
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 long life.”
The West Bengal Chief Minister, meanwhile, tweeting in English and Bengali said, “Birthday greetings to Dr Manmohan Singh Ji, former Prime Minister of India. May you have a long and healthy life ahead.”
Born on September 26, 1932, at Gah, in Punjab, British India (present-day Punjab in Pakistan), Dr Manmohan Singh became India’s first Sikh Prime Minister in 2004 after the Congress emerged as the single-largest party in that year’s Lok Sabha elections. It then formed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to stake claim to form the government. In 2009, the UPA returned to power with Manmohan Singh taking charge as the Prime Minister for five more years.
He is currently a Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan, having earlier been a member of the Upper House from Assam. In 1982, he was appointed as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). In 1991, he became the Finance Minister under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and is widely credited as the brain behind the 1991 economic reforms in the country.
In 2007, under Dr Singh’s Prime Ministership, India achieved its highest-ever gross domestic product (GDP) rate of 9% and became the second-fastest growing major economy in the world.