Locked in confrontation with the BJP government over the legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru, the Congress on Monday decided to bring the curtains down on the year-long celebration of his 125th birth anniversary in a big way.
Although the party had kicked off the celebration in a big way in November last year, organising a two-day international conference where the leaders of the opposition made an appearance on the opening day, it lost steam after that.
No major programmes were held in Delhi or in the states. Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit admitted “not many” events were organised. She headed a five-member panel set up by the party to implement the programmes.
Former Union Minister Mukul Wasnik was the convener of the five-member group which had former ministers Anand Sharma and Jairam Ramesh and Mohan Gopal as its members.
Now the party has drawn up a committee headed by A K Antony to organise events to mark the culmination in November. The party on Monday decided to organise a public meeting at the Indira Gandhi Stadium on November 14, Nehru’s birth anniversary. Besides, a seminar will be organised on Nehru’s philosophy, ideology and leadership. It will be attended by scholars, academicians and historians from across the country.
On Monday, Antony chaired a meeting of Congress general secretaries and representatives of the youth, students and women wings and that of the Seva Dal. The frontal organisations and state units have also been told to organise functions to mark the occasion. The party will also release a set of documents to mark the occasion.
The Congress plan comes at a time when the party is fighting attempts by the government to eclipse Nehru legacy. The latest tussle is over Nehru Memorial Museum and Library as the Congress fears the government is attempting to dilute the salience of Nehru in the institution.