Cong's 2-day global conference to highlight Nehru's legacy

Cong's 2-day global conference to highlight Nehru's legacy

Six months after it lost power, Congress is apparently utilising the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Jawaharlal Nehru to rally round all non-BJP, non-NDA parties together under the plank of secularism.

A two-day international conference is being organised here from tomorrow to highlight the legacy and world view of the country's first Prime Minister and will be attended by a host of international leaders and representatives of various political parties from India and abroad.

A major feature of the meet is that the who's who of anti- BJP politics has been invited and Prime Minister Narendra Modi or any other leader from BJP or from its allies have been left out.

The parties, whose leaders have been invited include all Left parties, JD(U), RJD, JD(S), Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress and other "who believe in the idea of India" as espoused by Nehru, as a Congress leader put it.

BJP has been alleging that the decision not to invite the Prime Minister reflected the narrow-mindedness of Congress and is a disrespect to the nation.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi had last week formally invited NCP chief Sharad Pawar for the event but the party now seems to be in two minds after NCP supported the BJP government in 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 Alibaug which coincides with the Congress event.

Party sources said that the Congress chief had personally written to Mamata and Nitish Kumar also inviting them for the event.

Congress has been launching a sharp attack on Modi for the past few days accusing him of seeking to destroy Nehru's secular vision. The party has earlier also been accusing the Prime Minister of appropriating the legacy of freedom movement leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel.

The New Delhi conference being organised by Congress will have two subject sessions -- Inclusive Democracy and People's Empowerment, and Nehru's Worldview and a Democratic Global Order for the 21st century.

The conference will conclude with a commemorative declaration, which will will capture the essence of the deliberations and convey a message of global import.

Eminent leaders participating in the event include former presidents Hamid Karzai from Afghanistan, John Kufuor of Ghana, General Obasanjo of Nigeria, former Prime Minister Madhav K Nepal of Nepal and Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, Queen Mother of Bhutan besides
Asma Jehangir from Pakistan, veteran South African freedom fighter Ahmed Kathrada and leadership delegations from 11 political parties across the globe.

British Labour party has given its consent to participating in the event and the number of delegates attending the conference could cross 80.

Socialist International, a worldwide association of political parties most of which seek to establish democratic socialism, will also send a delegation.

Delegations from Communist parties of Russia, China and Vietnam, Awami League of
Bangladesh, Nepali Congress and UMNO of Malaysia have confirmed their participation.

The leader of the nine-member delegation from Congress for the international conference will be party vice president Rahul Gandhi. Among its other members will be Jairam Ramesh, M Veerappa Moily, Ambika Soni, Rajiv Satav, Ashok Tanwar and Sushmita Dev.

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