NEW DELHI: Following the unseemly spat with the BJP-NDA Government over former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s legacy, the Congress is pressing ahead with plans to turn Nehru’s birth anniversary into an international event.
Seeking to revive the Nehruvian ‘idea of India’, Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed on Wednesday said that his party had invited leaders of all the Left parties, the JD(U), the RJD, the Trinamool Congress and other parties. Congress sources said that none of the BJP allies has been invited.
The Congress, on purpose may not have invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to its function to commemorate Nehru’s 125th anniversary celebrations, but they have extended invites to leaders of the other parties.
An invite has been sent to its former ally,West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief and Mamata Banerjee. Former Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, with whom the Congress is slightly warming up in Bihar, too has been invited to the international function to be held in Delhi on November 17- 18.
Invites have also been sent to several world leaders, including the former Presidents of Afghanistan (Hamid Karzai), Ghana (John Kufuor)and Nigeria (Olusegun Obasanjo) as well as former Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal. Among the international political parties, the African National Congress(ANC), Communist Party of China (CPC), Awami League of Bangladesh, Nepali Congress, Communist Party of Vietnam have also been invited.
The Congress event will draw comparisons with the official event being organised by Modi Government on November 14 at Teen Murti Library, the residence of the former Prime Minister, which has now been turned into a museum and library.
On November 13, the party has also organised an event at Talkatora Stadium followed by a memorial service at Shanti Van and other cultural programmes on Thursday.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, along with former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who is also the chairman of the committee that will oversee the year-long celebration of Nehru’s birth anniversary, will administer a pledge to protect his values and vision to party workers, Congress Delhi Legislative Party leader Harun Yusuf said.
On Friday (November 14), the party has organised a function at Nehru’s Samadhi at Shanti Van around 8 am which will be attended by the Gandhis.
For the evening, a function has been organised at the Teen Murti Bhavan.