New Delhi: BJP today said that it was Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi`s desire to invite the heads of government of all SAARC countries to his swearing-in, saying it is a first step towards improving ties with India`s neighbours.
The party also said the installation of a new government in the world`s largest democracy through peaceful transfer of power is also an occasion to showcase the strength of democracy.
"This is a big occasion for India`s democracy that the country`s elections have concluded peacefully and the world`s largest democracy sees such a change. Such a peaceful change in the world`s largest democracy is an occasion to showcase to the whole world the strength of democracy," BJP leader Arun Jaitley said.
He said "it was Prime Minister-designate himself who desired that all heads of states of SAARC nations be invited."
Jaitley said "it is Modi government`s intention to maintain good ties with its neighbours and this is the first indication of that intention."
He said the decision to invite neighbours to the swearing -in is also an indication that "we care for them and want to maintain relations with them."
Sources said Modi, after being appointed the Prime Minister, has conveyed it to the Rashtrapati Bhawan and the External Affairs Ministry his desire that all SAARC countries be invited to his swearing in on May 26.
For the first time, SAARC Heads of State and Government including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Sri Lanka President President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina have been invited to Modi`s swearing-in.