Congress leader Manish Tewari has criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over sending an invitation to Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif for the swearing in ceremony of Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi, saying in the past such initiatives were undertaken by the Manmohan Singh's government but faced a lot of criticism at the hands of the BJP.
"The BJP should not forget that Manmohan Singh had come under attack from them for carrying forward the process of normalising relations with the neighbour initiated by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee," he said. "If you were to rewind to 1998, from 1998-2004, Atal Bihari Vajpayee tried to normalise relations with Pakistan, not withstanding a host of provocations, which I would not like to get into at this stage. Manmohan Singh attempted to carry that process forward, but whenever there was an initiative there was criticism from the BJP," he added.
Modi's swearing-in ceremony, to be held at the forecourt of the historic Rashtrapati Bhavan, will take place on Monday and is likely to be attended by as many as 3,000 guests. India has invited leaders of all South Asian countries, including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, to the oath-taking ceremony.