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Cong supports Modi on visa issue

Last updated on: March 18, 2005 20:19 IST

Congress on Friday criticised the United States for denying a visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

However, the party made it clear that their stand on the issue should in no way be linked to its opposition to the controversial Bharatiya Janata Party leader.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, party spokesperson Anand Sharma said, "We are not treating this as a partisan issue but as an issue of national importance."

"This must not be seen as a dilution of our stand against Modi," he said.

Sharma said the US action was uncalled for given the fact that Modi is a chief minister and holds a Constitutional position.

"Modi hold a diplomatic passport and is free to visit whichever country he wants to," he added.

When pointed out that Shankar Sinh Vaghela, a member of the Congress party in Gujarat had welcomed the US decision, Sharma said it could be his personal view and not that of the party.

He added that Congress had earlier attacked the US for subjecting former defence minister George Fernandes to strip-search when he had visited the country.

The US on Friday denied Modi a diplomatic visa and revoked his tourist/business visa.

With inputs from PTI

Earlier reports:

Modi denied visa to visit US

India asks US to review decision on Modi's visa

Did this letter stop Modi?


Onkar Singh in New Delhi