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US will have to give Modi visa sooner or later: BJP chief

New Jersey, July 22 (IANS) Praising Narendra Modi as a leader with national appeal, Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh has said the US will have to give a visa to the Gujarat chief minister sooner or later.

“They will have to do it one day, if not now. If they do it now, it will be better,” he said addressing the Indian diaspora at a public meeting organised by the Overseas Friends of BJP at the TV Asia auditorium here Sunday. The meeting was telecast live by the channel.

Rajnath Singh, who is on a five-day US visit, said he would be taking up the issue with US lawmakers in Washington and he expected America to revoke Modi’s visa ban soon.

He does not need to praise the Gujarat chief minister, the BJP chief said, as the whole world has praised Modi’s performance.

“Look at the paradox”, Rajnath Singh said, “The research paper of an agency of America admired chief minister Modi’s governance and achievements, and the government has been denying visa to the same man.”

The US government first denied Modi a visa in 2005 over allegations that his government did nothing to control the 2002 Godhra riots. He has not applied for one since.

While there has been no change in the US position officially, the US business has been warming up to the Gujarat leader and the issue is being debated both in the administration and among the lawmakers.

Three Republican lawmakers who met Modi in Gujarat recently had promised to work towards getting him a visa. One of them raised the matter at a congressional hearing subsequently.

Rajnath Singh, who was dressed in his usual white dhoti kurta and a Nehru 1jacket, said BJP was better than other parties as “every other party has had vertical splits but BJP never”.

“Two, it has a vision and has stuck to that vision since the formation of Bharatiya Jan Sangh in 1951,” he said.

India, he said, has the resources, human and material to become a developed country, and all it needs is a leader with a vision, who can lead with a firm hand.

Rajnath Singh said the BJP motto for 2014 election is to make India a global leader and global player not just economically and in strategic matters but also spiritually and culturally.

“We don’t need your money,” he told NRIs, “but your time and talent to connect to your district/Lok Sabha constituency in India and use all means of communication to support the BJP”.

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