International Conference to Conclude today, ‘Reassert Nehru’s Legacy,’ Says Sonia

The two-day International Conference, “Nehru’s Worldview and Legacy: Democracy, Inclusion and Empowerment,” organised by Congress to commemorate India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s 125th birth anniversary will conclude on Tuesday at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi.

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

The event held by Congress on November 17 and 18 have witnessed several eminent leaders attending the conference. Irrespective of political views and difference in parties, the event witnessed leaders from many parties, especially from left-front sharing the stage with Congress leaders.

While the meeting was attended by West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Communist Party of India-Marxist leaders Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury and Janata Dal-United chief Sharad Yadav from different parts of the country, many world leaders including Afghan president Hamid Karzai, former Ghana president John Kufuor, Queen Mother of Bhutan Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, former Nepal prime minister Madhav Nepal and former Egyptian foreign minister Amr Moussa were also present at the ceremony.

While addressing the gathering, Congress President Sonia Gandhi stressed on Secularism and said, "There could be no Indianness, no India, without secularism. Secularism was and remains more than an ideal. It is a compelling necessity for a country as diverse as India."

Meanwhile, she has highlighted Nehru’s belief of only parliamentary democracy and a secular state could hold the country together in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-linguistic and multi-regional society and said that it has been proved right.

Emphasising the conference as an opportunity to “reassert the relevance, durability and indispensability of his (Nehru’s) legacy," she said she hope that the conference will contribute significantly to that objective.

In the conference held, Sonia Gandhi chaired the meeting whereas vice president Rahul Gandhi will lead the party delegation. Amid, Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma has said that the conference will provide a platform to reflect on Nehru’s worldview and legacy in the context of contemporary global challenges of 21st century.

However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NDA leaders were not invited for the conference. Congress has not invited the PM and NDA leaders alleging that the party had ignored late PM Indira Gandhi’s martyrdom day while it celebrated Sardar Vallavbhai Patel’s birthday on October 31.

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