Hours before the official verdict on the Indian polls was out on Friday, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa called BJP leader Narendra Modi, congratulating him for the BJP’s victory in Indian elections.

He also invited Mr. Modi on a state visit, according to a tweet from President Rajapaksa’s official twitter account.

“I take this opportunity to congratulate the Indian people on the conclusion of a successful and peaceful general election,” he said, in an exclusive statement released to The Hindu by his office on Friday.

Terming the Indian elections “a great example of the traditions of democracy that we cherish in South Asia”, President Rajapaksa said, “Despite the enormity of this democratic exercise, the election took place in the absence of violence.”

Congratulating the Bharatiya Janata Party for a landslide victory, he said it was only through a stable government that peace, development and economic prosperity can be realised. “India and Sri Lanka have always shared good relations, and I look forward to working closely with the new administration,” he said in the statement.