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Nothing wrong in not inviting Narendra Modi to Nehru Event: Congress

PTI 14 Nov 2014, 21:35:39 PM IST
PTI

New Delhi: In the continuing battle over the legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru, Congress today saw nothing wrong in its decision not to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to an international conference here next week to mark his 125th birth anniversary.

"The Prime Minister needed to look within why he is not there on the invitation list...You invite only such people who raise your joy as also your morale...We are having a commemorative function, we know who can connect with it and who cannot," Congress spokesman Salman Khurshid said, justifying the party's decision not to invite Modi.

Replying to a volley of questions, he insisted that the party would invite "proper" persons on the occasion of the anniversary of "one of the great leaders of the world".

At the same time, he said, it does not mean that it wants to deliberately keep somebody out.

"And suppose we call the Prime Minister, will he abandon his G20 meeting?" and attend the conference on Nehru, Khurshid wondered.

Dismissing BJP's assertion that Congress alone does not have a "copyright" on Nehru, he said the first Prime Minister was associated with the "soul of India" and there is no copyright on soul.

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, the government and BJP said today.

Congress has not invited Modi to an international meet with party leaders emphasising that they had "not given any invitation to the Prime Minister. We have invited all those who truly believe in democracy and the ideals of Nehru."

Taking exception to the move not to invite Modi, BJP has said Congress should not forget he is the Prime Minister of the country and not of any party. By not inviting the Prime Minister, they are disrespecting the nation, BJP said.

Yesterday, the battle over Nehru's legacy had escalated with Congress launching a sharp but veiled attack on the Prime Minister, accusing him of seeking to destroy his secular vision and spreading "poison of communalism".

Congress' criticism of Modi, whom it accuses of appropriating the legacy of freedom movement leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, had come at two functions to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Nehru.