As the nation paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Prime Minister Narendra Modi kick-started countrywide celebrations to mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on Wednesday.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat on his 150th birth anniversary.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, BJP veteran L K Advani, Union ministers Piyush Goyal and Hardeep Singh Puri, and BJP working president J P Nadda were among those who paid floral tributes to the father of the nation.

The BJP and the Congress have planned various events across the country on Gandhi Jayanti. Leaders cutting across party lines visited Rajghat, the resting place of the Mahatma, to pay homage to Gandhi.

PM Modi, who has a packed schedule, began his day with a visit to Rajghat, and paid floral tribute. Taking to Twitter, the Prime Minister said, “Tributes to beloved Bapu! On #Gandhi150, we express gratitude to Mahatma Gandhi for his everlasting contribution to humanity. We pledge to continue working hard to realise his dreams and create a better planet”.

PM Modi, who launched the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign in 2014, will declare the country open defecation-free at the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat later in the evening and visit the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad where he will declare the country open defecation-free in the presence of over 20,000 village heads.