Washington, Apr 5 IBNS | 3 years ago

The United States has said Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is welcome to to apply for U.S. visa.

During her daily press briefing on Thursday, U.S. Department of State spokesperson Victoria Nuland said: "With regard to Mr. Modi, our lines (US policy on his visa) have not changed here. He is welcome to apply (for visa). All visa decisions are made on a case by case basis, and I'm not going to prejudge it here."

The United States in 2005 decided Modi will not be given a U.S. visa because of the concern that the U.S. had on the Gujarat rights.

"We've said at all points that like any other visa applicant he's welcome to apply and we'll review the case on the merits," Nuland said.

Asked is the State Department will issue a visa to a foreign national when invited by a congressmen or group of congressmen, she said: "Every visa is adjudicated on the merits and in the context of U.S. law individually."

Commenting on the visit of the special delegation from the US to Gujarat and its meeting with Modi, Nuland said: "Well, let me first say with regard to our congressional delegation that was in Gujarat, visits like this do help support a deepening of business-to-business ties, of people-to-people ties, across India, in Gujarat.

"So from our perspective, the more congressional delegations that visit India and understand its dynamism and diversity, the more likely we are to continue to deepen those important ties."

On Mar 28, a delegation of American Congressmen and businessmen met Modi in Gandhinagar and invited the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader to visit the US.

The 18-member US delegation, led by Republican Congressmen from Illinois Aaron Schock, held over an hour-long closed-door meeting with Modi and other top state officials.

Modi said he spoke to the delegation about the fast, inclusive and environment-friendly process of development in Gujarat.

The Chief Minister tweeted: "I spoke to the USA delegation about how Gujarat has adopted a faster, inclusive and environment friendly process of development."

"(I) Am thankful to the members of USA Congress and business persons for their kind words on Gujarat's development," he posted on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Schock said he has invited Modi to visit the US.

Speaking to media, Schock said: "We are grateful to Chief Minister Narendra Modi. We learnt about the development. It is much easier to do business in Gujarat. Modi is very dynamic person."

"We have extend an invitation to the Chief Minister to visit USA and share his ideas with us," he said.

Another Republican lawmaker Cynthia Lummis said: "Workers are valued here, it is a desirable place to live in because of Shri Modi's leadership qualities."

The delegation visited India in order to promote 'People to People Contacts and Diplomacy' along with the Overseas Friends of BJP's (OFBJP) 'Global Community Overreach Programme'.

As many as 25 members of the US House of Representatives last year shot a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and asked her to continue denying visa to Modi.

The American lawmakers said the senior BJP leader's government did not pursue justice for the 2002 Gujarat riots victims adequately.

The infamous Gujarat riots of 2002 left hundreds of Muslims dead, injured and tortured and came as a blot in the BJP rule in the state.

The riots followed an incident of train burning in Godhra in which Hindus returning from Ayodhya were killed by a Muslim mob.

Around 1,000 supporters of prime accused Maulvi Umarjihad attacked the coach at the Godhra station and torched it killing 59 people and injuring many.

(Posted on 05-04-2013)