Modi visa row will hit Indo-US ties: BJP

New Delhi, March 22 | Updated: Mar 23 2005, 05:30am hrs
The denial of visa to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi will have an impact on the relations between India and the US, according to BJP.

Addressing mediapersons here, party spokesman VK Malhotra said that the US governments decision not to reconsider the visa issue despite the Indian governments request does not bode well for better Indo-US ties.

According to Mr Malhotra, the BJP parliamentary party meet, presided by party chief LK Advani, held here on Tuesday, condemned the US decision on revoking Mr Modis visa as there was no basis for the move. The party said that it was not appropriate for the US to distinguish between Mr Modi and the BJP as cited by US ambassodor David C Mulford on Monday. Responding to Mr Mulfords statement holding Mr Modi responsible for the Gujarat riots as he was the heading the state government between February 2002 and May 2002, Mr Malhotra said, The US decision is not based on facts but only based on the NHRC report. No court has indicted Mr Modi for the Gujarat riots.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) report had stated that there was a comprehensive violation of rights of life, liberty, equality and dignity of the people of the state.

Meanwhile, BJP sources said that the visa controversy has, in fact, helped Mr Modi to neutralise his rivals in the party to a large extent. He is taking the opportunity to strengthen his hold after the damage caused recently by rebel MLAs and MPs, who were mainly grouping around former chief minister Keshubhai Patel. The party rebels, who have been seeking Mr Modis ouster as chief minister, had been to the Capital recently to vent their opposition against the chief ministers autocratic way of functioning.