New Delhi: With the Time magazine featuring
Narendra Modi on its cover page, BJP leader L K Advani has
noted that it`s an "irony" that while the US refused a visa to
Modi, a report prepared by a think tank of the US Congress had
assigned "very high marks" to him for his governance.
Praising Modi, Advani said that they were left "surprised"
by the denial of visa because it had been announced by
Washington without Modi having sought it.
He also suggested that the then US Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice was also surprised when it was brought to her
notice when she visited him in August 2008.
"I raised with her the issue of denial of US visa to
Narendra Bhai Modi. I said to her this may be the first time
that an elected Chief Minister of a state in the world?s
largest and most vibrant democracy has been denied a visa.
"What really surprised all of us here was that the
denial of visa had been announced by Washington without Modi
having sought it. I have not even applied for a visa, Modi has
informed me. I told Condoleezza," Advani recalled.
In his latest blog titled "Government denies Visa: US
Congress thinktank salutes Modi", Advani, whose rivalry with
the chief minister for BJP Prime Ministerial face has made
quite a buzz, quoted extensively from the portions of the
magazine write up on Modi.
The BJP leader refers to a remark by a social scientist
and expert on Gujarat who says "the future belongs to him
Advani also referred to a recent opinion poll by India
Today to point out that 24 percent of those surveyed thought
Modi should be the next Prime Minister while only 17 per cent
polled for Rahul Gandhi.
Pointing out a dichotomy in US approach towards Modi, the
senior BJP leader says while US denies visa to the Gujarat
Chief Minister, the think tank of that country showers praises
Advani also drew attention to some Indian dailies
reporting the Times story with the heading "After Gandhi and
Patel, Modi third Gujarati on Time cover".
Advani said that the "irony" is that while the U S
Government has refused a visa to Modi, a report prepared by a
think tank of the US Congress has assigned "very high marks to
Modi" for his governance.
"Perhaps India`s best example of effective governance
and impressive development is found in Gujarat, where
controversial Chief Minister Narendra Modi has streamlined
economic processes, removing red tape and curtailing
corruption in ways that have made the state a key driver of
national economic growth," he said quoting Congressional
Research Service (CRS) report.
Advani also hailed CRS as a "bipartisan and independent"
research wing of the US Congress.