US House resolution against visa to Modi

Nov 20 2013, 00:16 IST
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SummaryThe resolution also called on India to protect the rights and freedoms of religious minorities.

A bipartisan Congressional resolution has been introduced in the US House of Representatives calling on the Barack Obama government to continue the policy of denying a visa to BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on the grounds of religious freedom violations.

The resolution also called on India to protect the rights and freedoms of religious minorities, and asked the US government to include the matter as part of bilateral the Strategic Dialogue.

The resolution introduced by Congressmen Keith Ellison from the Democratic Party and Joe Pitts from the Republican Party and co-sponsored by over a dozen other lawmakers, calls on the State Department to continue the policy of denying Modi a US visa.

In 2005, Modi was denied a diplomatic visa and his existing tourist and business visa was revoked under the Immigration and Nationality Act, which makes a foreign government official responsible for severe violations of religious freedom ineligible for a travel document.

“This resolution’s strong bipartisan support shows that the rights of religious minorities in India are a priority for the US Congress,” said Ellison after introducing the resolution which has been sent to the House Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Asia and the Pacific. As per Congressional records, a significant majority of resolution do not go beyond the Congressional committees.

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