Say no to Modi, say key US lawmakers
Washington: In a public appeal to the Obama administration, a group of powerful US lawmakers has asked it not to change the "good policy" of denying visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi under any circumstances in view of serious allegations of "crime against humanity" against him.
"Chief Minister Modi and his government's response to the riots, obstruction of justice, following the (2002) attacks is a severe violation of human rights that the United States has long condemned," Congressman Joe Pitts said at a news conference at the Capitol Hill, along with several other lawmakers and families of the Gujarat riot victims.
Pitts -- who along with 24 other lawmakers wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on November 29 requesting her not to grant a US visa to the Gujarat Chief Minister -- alleged that Modi has now indulged in a public relations campaign in an attempt to clear his name from the horrific riots and to seek higher office in India.
"In the past, the previous Bush administration rightly denied Mr Modi's visa application to enter the United States, because of his complicity with these attacks. We are here to call on the present Administration, (US) President (Barack) Obama, Secretary Clinton to stand with the victims and continue this good policy," Pitts said.
"Until justice is served, we ask the Obama administration not to allow Mr Modi to spread falsehood, to come here to the United States and raise funds to be elevated to the Prime Minister of India," he said.
The news conference was also addressed by Congressmen Frank Wolf, who is Chair of Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission; Keith Ellison, Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; and Trent Franks, Chair of the Congressional International Religious Freedom Caucus.