Cong invites Mamata, Nitish to Nehru event

Cong invites Mamata, Nitish to Nehru event

After refusing to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress has now reached out to leaders including Mamata Banerjee and Nitish Kumar for Jawaharlal Nehru’s anniversary event next week, a move seen as an attempt to consolidate secular parties.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi last week formally invited NCP chief Sharad Pawar for the event but the party now seems to be in two minds after NCP on Wednesday supported the BJP government during the trust vote in Maharashtra.

On his part, Pawar has already expressed his inability to attend the event owing to NCP’s Maharashtra unit’s two-day convention at Alibag which coincides with the Congress event. “Sonia Gandhi had written a letter inviting Pawar on November 6 and, on the same day, he wrote back expressing his inability to attend the event,” said NCP general secretary D P Tripathi.

The Congress party had made it clear it did not invite the prime minister for the event, joining the battle with Modi, who it accuses of trying to appropriate freedom movement leaders.

Party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said that Congress has invited leaders of all Left parties, JD(U), RJD, Trinamool Congress and other parties “who believe in the idea of India” as espoused by Nehru.

Asked whether it will also invite Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP, he said, “They are now with NDA. We have not invited those who do not believe in Nehru’s ideas.”
Party sources said that the Congress chief had personally written to Mamata and Kumar inviting them for the event.

The two-day event to highlight the legacy and worldview of the first Prime Minister of India is being organised on November 17 and 18 and it will be attended by a host of international leaders and representatives of various political parties from India and abroad.

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