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Sushma Swaraj meets Biden, refrains from raising Modi visa issue

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 21:46

New Delhi: BJP leader Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday met visiting US Vice President Joe Biden and raised the issue of visa to skilled workers but refrained from discussing the lifting of ban on American visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

"I had a very good meeting with Mr Joe Biden, Vice President of United States of America this afternoon. Amongst other issues, I raised the issue of totalisation agreement and H1B visa to Indian professionals," the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha said on micro-blogging site Twitter.

US has entered into agreements, called Totalisation Agreements, with several nations for the purpose of avoiding double taxation of income with respect to social security or medicare taxes. India is not yet a signatory to this agreement.

Swaraj, however, refrained from raising the issue of the US lifting the ban on visa to Modi. BJP President Rajnath Singh, who is on a five-day visit to the US, has said he will raise this issue with the American authorities.

Swaraj had come to the capital from Madhya Pradesh for this meeting with Biden and other engagements. She left for her Lok Sabha constituency Vidisha soon after the meeting for a four-day visit.

Meanwhile, BJP expressed its ire over reports that 40 Lok Sabha and 25 Rajya Sabha MPs have written to US President Barack Obama appealing to him to continue with the no-visa policy against Modi.

"Are these MPs voicing the view of their voters/people of their constituency or their prejudices "Against our own country man? Shame," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

She demanded that these 65 names be made public.

"The 65 names be revealed, questions asked in their constituencies about their motives. Whose cause are they serving? Modi an elected CM!" she tweeted.

Sources said no new letters have been sent by Indian MPs to Obama against Modi. Some of the MPs who had written such a letter last December have reportedly sent reminders to the US president reiterating their demand.


First Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 21:46
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