Asserting that there has been no change in its visa policy on Narendra Modi, the United States on Thursday said the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate is welcome to apply for a visa and wait for a review which will be grounded in American law.
"There has been no change to our visa policy. Our longstanding policy with regard to the (Gujarat) chief minister is that he is welcome to apply for a visa and await a review like any other applicant," a spokesperson for the department of state told.
"That review will be grounded in US law. I am not going to speculate about what the outcome might be," the spokesperson said, when asked about the clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team appointed by India's Supreme Court to look into allegations against Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Modi was denied a diplomatic visa to the US in 2005. The US also revoked the B-1/B-2 visa issued to him earlier.
This decision of the then Bush administration was done under a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act which makes any foreign government official who was responsible or "directly carried out, at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom" ineligible for the visa.