In a veiled attack on Narendra Modi-led dispensation, Rahul Gandhi slammed those who were trying to "rub out" Jawaharlal Nehru from history as an international conference on the country's first prime minister affirmed that democracy, inclusion and empowerment espoused by him were of "enduring relevance".
In her concluding remarks at the two-day conference called by the Congress, Party President Sonia Gandhi said as the Nehruvian concepts have come under challenge now, "we must not only adhere to what Nehru had built. We must fight and fight to strengthen democracy, inclusiveness and secularism."
Holding that Nehru's ideas were a "matter of shared interest" that concern all sections, she said the declaration reaffirms a collective commitment to nurture these views.
"We the delegates representing 20 countries, 29 political parties and organisations participating in the international conference on Nehru's world view and his legacy...caution the world against tendencies that are divisive or which create conflict in the society," the declaration read by former President of Ghana John Kufuor said.
"As representatives of human kind, we take a solemn hope to nurture the values espoused by Nehru to pursue his vision, to imbibe his spirit and carry forward his legacy to the entire world to privilege peace and reject violence in all our activities..." it further said.
The conference which sought to highlight the legacy and world view of Nehru was attended by a host of international leaders and representatives of various political parties from India and abroad.
Those participated in the conference include former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, 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.
The New Delhi conference had two subject sessions -- 'Inclusive Democracy and People's Empowerment' and 'Nehru's Worldview and a Democratic Global Order for the 21st century'.
A highlight of the event today was the presence of Samajwadi Party General Secretary Ramgopal Yadav.
On Monday arch-rivals Mamata Banerjee from Trinamool Congress and Prakash Karat Sitaram Yechury from CPI-M D Raja from CPI attended the event together along with former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular chief HD Devegowda, JD-U President Sharad Yadav and NCP general secretary DP Tripathi.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Commemorative International Conference was the first major event organised by the party afters its worst-ever drubbing in Lok Sabha polls.
Image: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi speaks at the Nehru International Conference in New Delhi. Photograph: Congress Party/Facebook