NEW DELHI – India’s prime minister-elect Narendra Modi's invite to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif received flack from many leaders of the opposition, some even calling the move hypocritical.
In March 2013, when the Congress-led government invited the then prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, BJP president Rajnath Singh had said, “Our soldiers were killed by ‘Pakistani’ forces. And, instead of registering strong protest, what is our government doing? Our external affairs minister is hosting lunch for him and he is being served biriyani.”
Today when this move by Narendra Modi is being seen by some as a positive step with respect to Indo-Pakistan relations, major leaders of the opposition have criticised this move questioning that if Rahul Gandhi had done the same had he been prime minister, he would be labelled as a soft prime minister unable of taking firm decisions and bowing down to foreign pressure.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar jumped in to defend the party's move and said, "Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji had said some time ago you can choose your friends but you can't choose your neighbours, Modiji is following just that." Omar Abdullah said: "At the same time I can't help wonder what BJP would have said if a PM designate Rahul Gandhi had done the same thing.”
Shashi Tharoor said: “If Nawaz Sharif does accept the invitation, let's hope Narendra Modi will serve him chicken biriyani.”