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Invitation to Modi is not his endorsement: UK

Nearly 10 months after it ended its decade-long boycott of Narendra Modi, the UK today said any engagement with the Gujarat CM was not an endorsement of him and expressed concern over human rights violations in the state.

delhi Updated: Aug 23, 2013 02:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Narendra Modi,UK high commissioner,James Bevan

The UK government has cleared the air over an invitation to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to visit the country by some British parliamentarians, saying the invitation does not mean an endorsement of the BJP leader.

Speaking on the issue, British High Commissioner James Bevan said the invitation was extended only by a few parliamentarians and was not a decision that had been taken by the British government.

READ:UK ends no-contact policy with Gujarat CM Narendra Modi

“A few parliamentarians have invited Modi to UK but the UK government has not invited him. It is a part of my job to meet influential people in India and I was just doing the job that I am being paid for,” he said.

Bevan added that the British government was still very much concerned about the human rights violations during the 2002 Gujarat riots when Modi was the chief minister.

READ:Modi thanks British MPs for UK invite

Britain’s opposition party’s Labour Friends of India chairman Barry Gardiner had sent a letter to Modi inviting him to the House of Commons to speak on “The Future of Modern India.”

He said Modi has been one of the key political figures in India and he has been one of the outstanding chief ministers of his generation and there is no doubt about that.

READ: It's just business: why UK made up with Modi

The UK government, like the US, had distanced itself from Modi in the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots until late 2012 when the British High Commissioner to India reached out to Modi.

First Published: Aug 22, 2013 20:16 IST