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Modi addresses NRI community in New York via satellite


New York, March 21, 2005

The US decision to deny him visa to visit the country did not stop Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi from doing business.

Modi addressed the NRI community in New York via satellite from Gandhinagar on Sunday evening.

But surprisingly, it was a much toned down Modi, who addressed crowds at the city's Madison Square Garden.

'No grievances'

Just hours after attacking US President George W. Bush during the Swabhiman rally in Ahmedabad, Modi told those gathered that he had no grievances against the Americans.

"I have no grievance against the US or the people of that country over the visa denial issue," he said.

Coming out in support of the Gujarat Chief Minister was leading US Congressman and founder of the India Caucus group Frank Pallone, who told the audience that Modi should have been given the visa.

"Allegations against Modi haven't been proven and he should have been given a visa," Pallone said.

Divided community

But while there was support for Modi inside, there were strong protests outside the venue.

There were people supporting the American government's decision to deny Modi a visa, an indication of how badly divided the Indian-American community is over the issue.

Modi is scheduled to address a conference organised by the Asian American Hotel Owners Association on March 24.

That may or may not happen, but the organisers have denied reports that his invitation had been cancelled.  (NDTV)

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