After inviting them to participate for an event on Monday, the Congress dropped the names of former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students’ union leaders Kanhaiya Kumar and Shehla Rashid at the last minute. Kumar and Rashid were scheduled to be panelists at the “Remembering Mahatma Gandhi on 72nd Martyrdom Anniversary” in New Delhi on Monday. The first invite, issued by the minority department of the All India Congress Committee, had the names of Kumar and Rashid along with Professor Apoorvanand, Ashok Vajpeyi and Manoj K Jha, for a panel discussion. However, the department later dropped their names to “avoid any controversy” in the wake of recent developments.Subsequently, Rajya Sabha member KTS Tulsi and Congress spokespersons Manish Tewari and Priyanka Chaturvedi were included in the panel discussion. Kumar and Rashid have been named in a Delhi Police charge sheet in the JNU sedition case.At the AICC press briefing, Tewari defended inviting Kumar and Rashid, saying a charge sheet was not a proof of their being guilty. However, he remained evasive on why their names were struck off. Asked if the invite was withdrawn following the BJP’s criticism, Tewari said the “media was trying to create a storm in a teacup”. The party’s minority department later claimed that Kumar and Rashid had cited their unavailability at the event after which new names were included.