Khobragade, Modi caused Powell’s exit

modipowell devy

US ambassador to India Nancy Powell’s failure in two specific cases – the Khobragade incident and Modi issue, have reportedly caused her resignation. She will retire from all active service in May, after working for 37 years in Africa, Nepal, Pakistan and finally India.

The mishandling of Indian Diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s arrest, subsequent events, Nancy Powell’s inability in properly understanding India’s situation regarding the issue was the major reason Powell’s stocks fell sharply in the Obama administration. Khobragade incident, right from the beginning turned out to be the poster incident for US arrogance and autocratic, high handed nature. Every step resulted in new volleys of counter steps between the countries, finally the incident becoming one of the biggest embarrassments the diplomacy has seen. US administration felt that it is majorly the failure of Powell’s office that they could not foresee India’s reactions.

The other issue was finding a way out from the stalemate US had been at with handling Narendra Modi’s Visa controversy. Though Powell made the important February trip to Modi’s door, giving him the much needed ego satisfaction, the US administration still felt that the legacy of Powell’s handling of the issue, in case Modi finally becomes the PM of India, might strain the relations between the countries. At a time when the US is considering India for a new partnership in the changing world order and new age, the elections, the beginning of a fresh relationship with a new government weighed heavily on the decision, sources say.

US and India, both could do well without a repeat of the friction of the recent times. A new incumbent in the all important US ambassador’s seat will have to ensure that now.

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