today firmly rejected an Indian government
request to reconsider revoking Modi's visa
The US today firmly rejected an Indian government
request to reconsider revoking Gujarat Chief Minister
Narendra Modi's visa to visit the country.
The statement of the US Ambassador to India, David
Mulford, was quite emphatic.
He said there was no question of Washington changing
its decision to deny Narendra Modi a visa to the United
Letter of protest
The move came despite a strong letter of protest
from the Indian government and an appeal by Prime
Minister Manomhan Singh to have the decision reviewed.
"This decision applies to Mr. Narendra Modi
only. It is based on the fact that, as head of the
State government in Gujarat between February 2002
and May 2002, he was responsible for the performance
of state institutions at that time," said Mulford
in his statement.
"The State Department's detailed views on this
matter are included in its annual Country Reports
on Human Rights Practices and the International Religious
Freedom Report. Both reports document the violence
in Gujarat from February 2002 to May 2002," he
Despite New Delhi's options being limited, the Ministry
of External Affairs maintained that Washington's decision
"This disregards the fact of the constitutional
position of the Chief Minister of Gujarat as a democratically
elected leader and appears to be based on selective
judgment," said Navtej Sarna, Spokesperson, MEA.
"While it is the sovereign right of a country
to grant or deny visas, the government does not find
this decision by the United States in keeping with
the objectives that India and US share as democratic
countries," he added.
The United States had also been at pains to point
out the decision is not directed at the BJP, though
the party was in no mood to listen.
"Narendra Modi is not a criminal. There aren't
sufficient grounds to do something like this,"
said Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP leader.
BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that
the decision did not apply only to Modi, but to the
entire country. PTI