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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

World

No visa yet, Modi to address US through satellite
PTI
Washington, September 12, 2013
First Published: 08:59 IST(12/9/2013)
Last Updated: 14:35 IST(12/9/2013)

 So what if Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi hasn’t received the US visa yet. He will be directly beamed to US through satellite in the last week of this month!

According to agency reports, Narendra Modi will address party workers and Overseas Friends of BJP at Tampa city, which falls in US'  state of Florida, on September 21.

The theme of the conference is 'Mission 2014: BJP 272+'.   The three-day conference from September 20 is scheduled to be inaugurated by BJP vice-president Smriti Irani. The agenda will be garnering support ahead of 2014 general elections.

In a statement, OFBJP, a US body whose members associate themselves with, and support the BJP in India, said Modi would be addressing their annual convention through satellite live.   

The convention, to be attended by Indian-Americans and OFBJP from across the country, will deliberate on harnessing the latest technology and social media tools in support of the BJP, said Chandrakant Patel, OFBJP's in-coming president.


Modi had plans to visit the US ahead of elections soon after he was crowned BJP’s chief campaigner for 2014 general elections. But, a controversial letter signed by some prominent lawmakers brought up the issue of his alleged role in 2002 riots in Gujarat.

Later, on August 16, media carried a report that a top American official had opposed the grant of visa to Modi.

Vice chairwoman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Katrina Lantos Swett had reportedly said that Modi should “not be granted the privilege of US visa because of the very serious doubts that remain and that hang over Modi relative to his role in the horrific events of 2002 in Gujarat."

The bipartisan government commission reviews the facts and circumstances of religious freedom violations and makes policy recommendations to the US President, the secretary of State and Congress.

In 2005, the US denied Modi a diplomatic visa and revoked his existing tourist/business visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
During a recent visit to the US, BJP president Rajnath Singh had said he would request for a review of visa ban on Modi.

When pointed out that courts have not yet found any evidence of Modi's involvement in the 2002 riots, Swett said had reportedly said , "Certainly in our system of justice you can be found not guilty, which is not the same thing as found innocent."


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