UK reviewing its stand towards Gujarat: BJP on Modi-envoy meet
New Delhi: British High Commissioner James Bevan's meeting on Monday with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is not the end of a ten-year isolation of the leader but a reviewing of the UK's stand towards the "vibrant and growing state", BJP said here on Monday.
Asked about the development, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said "it was not an isolation at all. Modi has visited countries like China and Japan. Some specific countries, under the influence of certain vested interests, had adopted a visa policy against him."
BJP maintained that the UK appears to be relooking at its visa policy vis-a-vis the Gujarat Chief Minister.
"The UK has one of the highest investments in Gujarat... May be, the UK has reviewed its stand," Sitharaman said.
This was the first meeting between a senior British official and Modi after the 2002 Gujarat riots.
BJP claimed the UK may also have been influenced by the fact that "justice is being done" as per the process of law in the state.
Party sources accept that the move by the British and similar noises from the US could be due to Modi's growing stature in BJP and his likely shift to national politics after the Gujarat assembly elections get over in December.
BJP leaders are also accusing Congress of not taking up Modi's visa case with the US and the UK when the matter had come up after 2002 and maintained that the ruling party's "lukewarm" response to today's developments is the "sign of a loser".
"These are indicators of a loser. Congress is a loser," Sitharaman said, adding the party has "failed" to check corruption or provide good governance and administration.
A section in BJP feels that overtures to Modi are due to the economic growth of Gujarat and its trade and business potential which countries like the UK and the US are finding hard to resist.