US lawmakers hail Narendra Modi's victory; call for greater Indo-US ties

Written by PTI | Washington | Updated: May 23 2014, 19:11pm hrs
Hailing the "historic victory" of Narendra Modi in general elections, several influential American lawmakers have called for rejuvenating ties with India as they invited the Prime Minister-designate to the US.

"What a great time! Now we have a new opportunity in India to see a new government and to see some of the challenges that we all hope are addressed. One of those is to what can be done to create a shot in the arm for more economic prosperity in India," said Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the powerful House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

"With a clear majority there is now a mandate for changes to address pro-growth economic policies and having watched what happened in Gujarat, we now have that opportunity to see that (at the national level)," Royce said in his remarks at an event organised by the US India Political Action Committee to celebrate the victory of BJP at the Capitol Visitor Center.

Royce said he has sent out an invitation to Modi.

"We in the (House) Foreign Affairs Committee look forward to his visit," he said, adding he wants to share many issues with Modi including the all-important counter-terrorism issue. "It (counter terrorism co-operation) is absolutely vital that the US and India, pick up, step up in terms of our mutual co-operation on counter-terrorism," he said, adding mutually beneficial economic issue wasanother area of co-operation.

"We need to do more to put India on the map of trade and investment," he said, adding India is the place to invest.

Top Democratic leader and India Caucus Co-Chair Congressman Joe Crowley said that the US looks forward to working with the new Indian government.

"I am sure there would be better days ahead (in India US relationship). There will be potholes. I think the White House understands that India is on the rise and that's why it deserves a seat at the UN Security Council," the New York lawmaker said, as he welcomed the initiative of the Prime Minister-designate Modi to invite leaders of the South Asian countries to attend his swearing in ceremony.

Crowley also said it is time that India has a permanent place in the United Nations Security Council.

"I am very pleased that the (US) President invited Modi to the United States. We look forward to working with this new government and continue the relationship forward," he said.

In a message to the event organised at the Capitol Hill, BJP President Rajnath Singh said that India and the US have the potential to work together as natural allies.

"We have an enduring friendship and a strong partnership," he said.

"The BJP is looking forward to strengthen bilateral relations with the US and we will take the large Indian American community on board in this endeavor," Singh said.

Among others who spoke on the occasion were Congressman George Holding, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal and Taranjit Singh Sandhu, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy here.