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US grants visas on merit: State Department

The US State Department says the procedure of granting visas have nothing to do with any relationship with a political party or a particular community.

india Updated: Aug 24, 2006 20:58 IST

Amidst reports that a close aide of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was denied visa without explanation, the US State Department has said that final decisions on visa applications are based on merit and have nothing to do with any relationship with a political party or a particular community.

The State Department, whose official policy is not to comment on individual visa cases or applications, was asked to comment on the reported denial of visa to Modi's close aide and BJP spokesman Purshottam Rupala.

In addition, it was maintained that as many as 75 applications from persons wanting to attend the World Gujarati Conference in New Jersey beginning September 1 were rejected. It is estimated that some 30,000 Gujaratis from around the world will be attending the three-day conference.

"We don't comment on individual visa cases. Everyone applies as an individual and decisions are based on their qualifications as an individual and would have no reflection on their relationship with the BJP or Gujaratis in general," a senior State Department official said.