News U.S. Uneasy Relationship With Modi Can Affect Ties   Email this page
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BANGALORE: With the Indian elections results due to be announced, a chance to repair relations with the U.S. on the diplomat row is certainly on the cards. But there’s a big catch! Washington’s uneasy relationship with the man who is expected to become India’s next prime minister might just be the next big thing to happens, reports Santafenewmexican.
Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi who was denied a U.S. visa in 2005 for alleged complicity in religious riots in 2002 was given a glean chit in 2010 and is now clear from all the chargers . With the election now come to an end, the exit polls also show his Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies are set to take a large lead over the ruling Congress party and its allies after voting ended.

The Obama administration started mending fences in February, when, the U.S. ambassador met with him and cleared decade-long boycott enacted the U.S. American officials since then have said whoever is elected India’s next leader would be welcome to the U.S., leaving little doubt that if Modi becomes Prime Minister, he could visit Washington.

President Barack Obama also came out and congratulated India on its national election and said the U.S. will work closely with India’s next government.“We look forward to working with the leaders chosen by the Indian people to advance this important partnership and to set an ambitious agenda,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

But the bigger picture here is the controversy over Modi’s visa could leave some hard feelings. Since Modi got a clean bill when investigators appointed by India’s Supreme Court in 2010 did not find prosecutable evidence that Modi had willfully allowed the 2002 communal violence, but rights groups maintain that there’s strong evidence linking his administration with the attacks, and he remains a divisive figure. The U.S.-based analysts and congressional aides also said that Modi has little foreign policy experience, but his pro-business outlook and focus on reviving India’s flagging economy could help the relationship.

“The State Department will have to be very careful in how they manage re-engagement, but in other areas the BJP looks to America as a strong natural partner for defense and economic issues. We saw that the last time the BJP was in power,” said Rick Rossow of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington.

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