Opposition parties on Tuesday reacted sharply after Hindustan Times broke the news that US ambassador Nancy Powell has sought a meeting with BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, signalling her country was ending its "boycott" of the Gujarat leader.
The Samajwadi Party (SP) called the development as "US interference in India's internal affairs", but at the same time said it failed to understand why so much importance should be given to the news. "First they humiliate somebody. Then they try to make him a demigod. These developments should be ignored," said SP national secretary Rajesh Dixit.
Read: US may end 9-year boycott of Modi, envoy asks for meeting
HT broke the story on Tuesday that US ambassador to India, Nancy Powell, requested for a meeting with Modi. They are expected to meet next week in Gujarat.
Read: Why Modi matters to America ahead of 2014 LS elections
The Left said "corporate pressure" had led to the US decision. "This move should be seen in a larger context of corporate pressure. Modi has become the captain of the Indian corporates who are part of a US-led international financial structure. So, the Americans want to meet the captain," said CPM central secretariat member Nilotpal Basu.
Timeline: A tremulous Modi-US story
JD(U) spokesperson KS Tyagi described the development as a casual matter, saying that even if the US ban was removed, Modi would not be absolved of his role in the Gujarat carnage of 2002 riots.
"Modi has been indicted for his role in the riots by human rights organizations across the world. He will continue to have a tainted record" Tyagi said.
BJP leader Kirti Azad on Tuesday said that Modi was not "dying" to visit America. "Modi is not dying to go to America. It is upto them to decide whatever they want to do. The US seeing the changed scenario is now extending an olive branch to Modi," said Azad.
Read: US visa not on agenda when Modi meets Powell in Gujarat
"We will decide it when the time comes on whether we want to go or not," he said.
(With agency inputs)