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‘Give US visa to Modi, or none for Barack Obama’

HT Spotlight HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Ranchi, December 29, 2013
First Published: 23:56 IST(29/12/2013) | Last Updated: 00:52 IST(30/12/2013)

Taking an aggressive stance against the US government, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Sunday hit out at the US government for denying visa to its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

Sinha claimed that after the 2014 polls, President Barack Obama would have to handover the visa to Modi himself or risk losing his own entry to India.

Addressing a BJP rally, Sinha, who is former external affairs minister, said he agreed with his party leader Arun Jaitely’s remark that Modi should never apply for US visa.

A combative Sinha asked, "Will the US ever treat diplomats from China or Brazil in this fashion? We have to send a strong message that India is back in the hands of a strong leader after the 2014 polls. Either Obama come to Delhi to handover (the visa) to Modi or we will have to cancel his visa."

"We will do anything to uphold the standing and prestige of India. The recent episode involving Indian diplomat Devyani Khobargade only underscored the perception of the country in Washington because of a weak government in Delhi."

Sinha retorted that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s approach towards Washington was soft when compared to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff who had cancelled her visit following disclosures of espionage on her office by the US National Security Agency.

In a recent Facebook post, Jaitely had hit out at the US for denial of visa to Modi, saying to proclaim the Gujarat chief minister guilty even when there was no evidence against him despite several probes amounts to "immature diplomacy" and sets a precedent for a "reciprocal" response.

A day after Modi was cleared by a Gujarat court of any involvement in the 2002 riots, Jaitely held that, "the American stance on the issue has clearly been one determined by their ‘kangaroo court. It is time Americans reflect on how they have boxed themselves into this untenable situation."  

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