After UK, Australia invites Narendra Modi

Ahmedabad, Aug 17 : After the United Kingdom (UK), Australia on Saturday invited Gujarat Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) election campaign chief Narendra Modi to visit the country.

Australian High Commissioner to India Patrick Suckling met Modi in Gandhinagar and extended him an invitation to visit the country.

"India has been on the top in Australia's foreign policy owing to smooth relations and parallels between both the countries. Developing relations with Gujarat has been on the top priority since last 10 years," Suckling told Modi.

Modi on Wednesday thanked British MPs for inviting him to the UK.

"Thankful to British MPs for their invites in the spirit of dialogue and engagement," tweeted Modi.

Indian groups of United Kingdom's two major political parties, the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, have invited Modi to visit the country, reports said on Tuesday.

According to reports, inviting Modi to the House of Commons to speak on 'The Future of Modern India', the Labour Friends of India chairman Barry Gardiner sent a letter to the BJP leader last week.

The Conservative Friends of India also invited Modi last week.

Ending Britain's diplomatic exclusion of Modi that was caused after the 2002 riots, the British High Commissioner to India James Bevan met him last year.

Bevan's meeting with Modi was taken as a step to normalise Britain's relationship with Gujarat, a state where the state administration was blamed for much of the fallout of the 2002 anti-Muslim riots.

According to reports, protests occurred in UK during Modi's visit to the country in 2003 due to his alleged role in the 2002 riots in the state.

He was denied a visa to visit UK in 2005.

The infamous Gujarat riots of 2002 left hundreds of Muslims dead, injured and tortured and came as a blot in the Bharatiya Janata Party (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.

--IBNS (Posted on 17-08-2013)

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