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इंडियन आवाज़     11 Apr 2021 12:06:08      انڈین آواز

Africa summit: Congress boycotts PM Modi’s dinner for ignoring Nehru

Our Correspondent /

PM, Narendra Modi with the African leaders during the special dinner hosted, on the sidelines of the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit, in New Delhi on October 28, 2015.

Perturbed over ignoring contribution of congress leaders in India Africa friendship, The Party on Wednesday stayed away from the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the visiting African leaders, who are participating in the third edition of India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS). The party, however, will attend the official banquet being hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday.

Sources in Congress said that its leaders will boycott all the functions hosted by Prime Minister Modi for the visiting dignitaries, protesting his alleged ploy to erase the contribution of first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who was the architect of India-Africa relations.

Congress leaders are angry that external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, who kick-started the summit by supervising the foreign ministers’ meeting on Tuesday, didn’t mention Nehru or any other Congress leader in her address. Among the dignitaries, it was left to foreign minister of South Africa Maite Nkoana-Mashabane who on Tuesday remembered Nehru and called the late leader as one of the founders of South-South cooperation. Congress leaders believe that it was, in fact, the UPA government which started the IAFS in 2008.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and leaders in two Houses of Parliament Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge were invited to the dinner. Sonia Gandhi did not have any invitation though the Congress has extremely close ties with African nations and some of the towering leaders treat Nehru as their idol.

Congress sources say it was unfortunate that the names of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi who had made stellar contribution for African de-colonisation and for the ending of apartheid were not mentioned in any of official media releases. Also there is no mention about the “Africa Fund” set up by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1987 in the ministry of external affairs’.

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