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Some NDA members 'do qualify' for meet on Satyagraha: Congress

india Updated: Jan 30, 2007 18:20 IST
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Despite her 25-day 'Satyagraha' at Singur, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee did not get an invitation for the international conference on Gandhian ideals in New Delhi but organiser Congress party said some NDA members "do qualify" to attend the meet.

"We burnt a lot of midnight oil on deciding the criteria for extending invitation for this conference," Devendra Dwivedi, spokesman for the international conference on 'Satyagraha', told reporters in New Delhi.

Asked about extending an invitation to Banerjee, he said "some NDA members do qualify" to attend the two-day conference attended by representatives from over 80 countries.

Congress, the organiser of the inaugural event of a year-long centenary bash of the Satyagraha movement, had faced tough questions from the media on Monday over the absence of members of the opposition parties at the conference.

Admitting that the Mahatma did not belong to any particular organisation, Dwivedi had said it was an international event for which certain criteria was used for issuing invitations.

"We invited those associated with the Gandhian philosophy and thoughts," he said adding the party did not want any controversy on the conference as it was a "solemn occasion".

Several UPA and Left leaders including CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat, CPI leaders AB Bardhan and D Raja besides Debabrata Biswas of Forward Bloc attended the meeting.

Among the UPA leaders, Lalu Prasad of RJD, Ram Vilas Paswan of Lok Janshakti Party and Dayanidhi Maran of DMK were at the inaugural function attended by a galaxy of leaders from across the world.