Modi’s US Republican lawmaker friend resigns

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Mar 20, 2015 00:08 IST

A Republican member of US house of representatives, who was also a friend of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, announced his resignation Tuesday after weeks of unrelenting focus on his alleged misuse of official funds.

Aaron Schock, the 33-year-old rising star of the Republican party, was one of three members of the party that had met Modi when he was chief minister of Gujarat.

They had assured him they would do everything they can to get him a visa to travel to the US — Modi had been turned down in 2005 over Gujarat riots and he never applied again.

Reports about Schock's spending excesses began with a make-over of his office on Capitol Hill inspired by the UK soap cult Downtown Abbey — in all red.

That turned out to be just the beginning. Reports soon appeared questioning his use of private planes, concert ticket purchases, overseas travel and other forms of travel.

Schock, a phenomenal fund-raiser, had billed his campaign and the government for logging 170,000 miles in his private car between 2010 and 2014.

But the car's odometer showed, when it was sold, it had only done 80,000 miles, 90,000 less than expenses reimbursed to him.

"The constant questions over the last six weeks have proven a great distraction that has made it too difficult for me to serve the people of the 18th District with the high standards that they deserve," he said in a statement.

His resignation is effective March 31.

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