World Bulletin / News Desk
The United States could drop its travel ban on a controversial Indian politician should he win an upcoming national election to be held in April-May.
Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was denied a US visa in 2005 for his alleged complicity in Hindu-Muslim inter-communal riots in Gujarat in 2002 which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims. An Indian court in 2012 found no evidence to link him to the violence.
In an interview with a private news channel on Friday, US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal said that Washington is ready to do business with Modi if he ascends to the top job.
“I would just say that the US has welcomed every leader of this vibrant democracy, and that a democratically elected leader of India will be a welcome partner.”
“Visa issues are handled on a case-by-case basis. And determinations are made based on the facts of the day and reviewed at the time a request is made,” Biswal added, according to a transcript released by the US embassy.
The US has maintained a visa ban on the politician who has won three elections in the western Indian state of Gujarat over the past nine years.
This attempt to reach Modi comes as opinion polls show that the right-wing BJP, under Modi’s leadership, is set to emerge as the single largest party in approching parliamentary elections. Polls indicate that Modi is the current frontrunner for the post of the prime minister.
Last month, Nancy Powell, US Ambassador to India met Modi at his official residence in Gujarat, ending a boycott of the right-wing Hindu politician.Last Mod: 08 Mart 2014, 13:10