New Delhi: Congress' decision not to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to an international conference to mark Jawaharlal Nehru's 125th birth anniversary reflects the party's narrow-mindedness and is a disrespect to the nation, the government and BJP said on Tuesday.
"I think they (Congress) are very narrow minded. There is no politics in being narrow minded. Politics means it should include everybody," Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptullah told reporters on the sidelines of an event.
"Modi is so large-hearted that he is supporting Nehru's birth anniversary (celebrations) despite the change of government. He is continuing to do that.
"From November 14-19, a lot of programmes are taking place. See how large-hearted the Prime Minister is and how narrow minded is the Congress," Heptullah said.
Congress has not invited Modi to an international conference it is organising to mark the first Prime Minister's 125th birth anniversary with party spokesperson Anand Sharma saying, "We have not given any invitation to the Prime Minister. We have invited all those who truly believe in democracy and the ideals of Nehru."
Taking an exception to the move not to invite Modi, BJP said that Congress should not forget that he is the Prime Minister of the country and not of any party. By not inviting the Prime Minister, they are disrespecting the nation, BJP said.
"When Congress disrespects the Prime Minister, it should realise that it is in fact disrespecting the nation," said BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.
He added that Congress should stop feeling that one is trying to appropriate their heroes and should stop playing politics on the issue.
Congress has accused Modi of trying to appropriate leaders of the freedom movement like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Nehru by launching special schemes and diverting attention from their legacy.
"Can the heroes of yesteryears be stolen by anyone? No one is stealing their heroes. Congress should stop playing politics over people who contributed to the upliftment of this country," Patra said.