File photo: Gujarat CM Narendra Modi delivers the annual "Shri Ram Memorial Oration" as part of Shri Ram College of Commerce's management festival 'Business Conclave 2013' in New Delhi. PTI
The issue of continued denial of US visa for Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was debated at a congressional hearing on Friday, with an influential Republican lawmaker questioning the US government decision.
“I have some concerns about the continuing denial to him (Modi) of a visa to the United States,” said Representative Cynthia Lummis at a hearing of a US House subcommittee. “Courts in India have not found him guilty of anything,” she said.
The US government has repeatedly said there is no change in policy on the issue but, sources have indicated, discussions are on how to tackle it now that Modi has taken centre stage in the BJP.
It may be noted that Lummis was part of a three-member delegation of US lawmakers -- all Republicans -- that visited Gujarat earlier this year and met Modi. The trip was organised by Modi’s supporters in the US.
The delegation had invited Modi to the US, saying they would work towards getting him a visa.
US first denied Modi a visa in 2005 because of allegations that his government did nothing to stop the 2002 riots. He has since not applied for one.