US ambassador Nancy Powell has met Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi this morning at Gandhi Nagar. Though the points of the meeting are business and economic cooperation, it is unanimously seen as a PR exercise by US under the projections that the coming elections might go in favor of BJP and thus Modi. The meeting was asked by the US ambassador earlier this week, ending a nine year thaw in the relations between US and Modi. After 2002 Gujarat riots, US, EU and Great Britain have revoked the Visa of the Gujarat CM, terminating all relations with him. EU and Britain have later softened looking at his growing clout and business opportunities in Gujarat. US continued with its policy of shunning the communal violence tainted leader.
Now, looking at the probability of BJP forming the next government and Modi helming the affairs, US has to look at smoothing the relations with the number one leader of one of the largest democracies in the world. Nancy Powel thus chose to ask for the meeting herself, after rejecting his visa several times, traveled to Gandhi Nagar a day ahead… all in a PR exercise of showing extreme importance and concern.
How ever, the Visa granting will be another issue altogether, the concerned US departments have said, time and again.
Mean while, Congress representatives chose to ignore the meeting as inconsequential. Salman Khurshid reminded newsmen that there are several courts more, yet to pronounce verdicts on Modi’s involvement with Gujarat massacre.