Invitation to Saarc not a diplomatic stunt: BJP

Swearing-in a celebration of democracy, says Jaitley

Invitation to Saarc not a diplomatic stunt: BJP

Seeking to downplay misgivings over the invitation to Saarc leaders to attend Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said it has been done to showcase the strength of India’s democracy and therefore should not be viewed from the prism of bilateral issues.

“The invitation to all leaders of Saarc nations to be present at the ceremony is to showcase Indian democracy and its strength to the world at large. It is a democracy event. It should not be viewed through the prism of bilateral issues between countries,” Jaitley said in a statement.

He said representation of India’s neighbours at the event “reaffirms India’s faith in both democracy and greater integration of the region.”

Jaitley said the general election has been a great celebration of Indian democracy, given that it is the largest exercise of its kind in the world. The country should be proud of concluding the process in a peaceful and fair manner, resulting in a democratic change of power.

He said the swearing-in ceremony of the Prime Minister- designate Narendra Modi and his Council of Ministers on May 26 “will be culmination of these celebrations, before the new government gets down to work.”

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