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Finding Modi may well drive BJP to power, US now appears to think that Gujarat riots are no more an issue

By Our Representative
Finding that the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi may well help the party return to power, the US has given fresh indications (click HERE to read earlier report) it may change its policies towards Modi, whom it denied visa in 2005 for failing to uphold religious freedom in the wake of Gujarat riots. Talking to Karan Thapar on Devil’s Advocate on the CNN-IBN channel, former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice said the Gujarat riots were no longer a contentious issue and that the US would work with Modi if he became the Prime Minister.
Rice, who was clearly influenced by the recent polls to four state assemblies where the Congress got its worst drubbing, said, "I think we have put behind us the past and we have established the foundation for the future and now it's a matter of pursuing on a consistent basis at all levels in both countries the fruits and benefits of that foundation that we put in place," adding, “India is a great democracy and whoever India choses the Prime Minister is going to be the partner for the US.”
She added, “I believe since our fundamental interests and values are so increasingly aligned, our values have always been aligned, our interests are increasingly aligned that the Prime Minister of India and the President of the US, whoever is in India and certainly would be President Obama for a number of years further, that they will find a way to push this relationship forward.”
Asked whether the 2002 riots no longer “rankle” US policy makers, and US has “no qualms or concerns about it”, she said, “No. I think we have put behind us the past and we have established the foundation for the future and now it's a matter of pursuing on a consistent basis at all levels in both countries the fruits and benefits of that foundation that we put in place.”
Meanwhile, the bipartisan House Resolution 417, introduced last month, cosponsored among others by Republicans Joe Pitts and Frank Wolf, and commending the US government for denying a visa to Modi "on the grounds of egregious religious freedom violations", is clearly losing steam.
The resolution, introduced about a month ago, had urged all political parties and religious organisations to publicly oppose the exploitation of religious differences and denounce harassment and violence against religious minorities, especially in the run-up to India's general elections in 2014. It was sent to the House Foreign Affairs Committee for further action.
Among the first to fire the salvo against the resolution was Ed Royce, Republican Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, wjp issued a statement at the behest of United States India Political Action Committee (USINPAC), bipartisan body representing the political views of Indian-American community in the US saying it "weakens, rather than strengthens, the friendship between the US and India".
"The resolution runs counter to all the hard work that the American people, particularly those in the Indian American community, have done to improve the relationship," he said. As committee chairman, Royce said he was "focused on the critically important relationship between the US and India". "Our two nations share many common values and strategic interests. India plays a central role in the Asia-Pacific region, and we must do our part to ensure that India is a centrepiece of America's rebalance to Asia.".
This happened immediately after Steve Chabot, Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, withdrew his name as an original cosponsor of the resolution. Eni Faleomavaega, a non-voting member of the House of Representatives, on the subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, criticized the resolution for "failing to note that India's Supreme Court has found no evidence against Modi".
The House resolution "purports to praise India's rich religious diversity and commitment to tolerance and equality while reaffirming the need to protect the rights and freedom of religious minorities," he noted. "However, rather than praising India, the Resolution focuses on the 2002 Gujarat riots some 11 years after the incident while failing to note that India's Supreme Court has found no evidence against Modi.”
"India is a sovereign nation and its citizens have a right to choose their leaders," he declared.

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Modi360.com said…
We have launched a petition to request President Obama to reconsider US Administration’s stand on Mr. Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of the State of Gujarat, In
India. Please visit MODI360.COM to review and sign this petition.

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