Rajiv Ratna Gandhi (20 August 1944 – 21 May 1991) was the Prime Minister of India, serving from 1984 to 1989. He took office after the 1984 assassination of his mother, Prime Minister Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi, to become the youngest Indian Prime Minister at the age of 40.
Rajiv Gandhi’s period in office was mired in controversies; perhaps the greatest crises were the Bhopal disaster and the Shah Bano case. In 1988 he reversed the coup in Maldives, antagonising militant Tamil groups such as PLOTE, intervening and then sending peacekeeping troops to Sri Lanka in 1987, leading to open conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In mid-1987 the Bofors scandal damaged his corruption-free image and resulted in a major defeat for his party in the 1989 election.
Gandhi remained Congress President until the elections in 1991. While campaigning for the elections, he was assassinated by a suicide bomber from the LTTE.