Saturday, April 28, 2012

No Visa for Narendra Modi, Reiterates US

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi may have recently appeared on the cover of Time magazine’s Asia edition, but the US says there is no change in its policy to not grant him a visa. 
“Our position on the visa issue hasn't changed at all,” state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters at her daily news conference in Washington on Wednesday. She was responding to questions on the letter written by Congressman Joe Walsh to secretary of state Hillary Clinton, that the US government reverse its 2005 decision not to issue US visa to Modi. The letter by Walsh was written about a fortnight ago. “If we do respond, it'll be along familiar lines,” Nuland said. The Indian American Muslim community demanded, in a statement, that the state department should not change its 2005 policy on Modi's visa. He was first denied visa in 2005, three years after the Gujarat riots. 
For Modi’s political rivals, the US stand gives fresh fuel to attack him over the 2002 riots, which have haunted the BJP leader ever since. While Congress refrained from commenting on the US policy and asked Modi to reflect on it, BJP said it was for the US to ponder over its approach towards an elected chief minister. 
“I am sure that they (US) look at everything they want to look at... Not for us to comment on US policy but it is a matter of serious concern that there is this kind of serious question mark on the personality of somebody who leads a major state in our country,” law minister Salman Khurshid said replying to questions on the US stand. “It is sad but we have that. I hope that the person concerned will reflect upon this and think about it and think about why the world thinks so poorly of him,” he said.