The United States department of state has said that they would consider if Narendra Modi applies for US visa again.
US rejected Gujarat Chief Minister's visa application in 2005 citing his inaction during the 2002 Gujarat riots which killed hundreds of people. Interestingly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader has not applied for US visa again after his application was rejected once.
"Well, certainly if he applies, it will be reviewed just as any application would be," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters on Friday.
With Lok Sabha elections next year, the pressure seems mounting on the US whether the decision was right to deny Modi an entry into the country as he is indeed being projected as the next prime ministerial candidate by the BJP. However, Psaki cleared that the state department does not work under any pressure for such matters.
"No. We evaluate them (visa applications) case by case, and we wouldn't speak to it publicly anyway," she said. "If Chief Minister Modi applies for a visa, his application will be considered to determine whether he qualifies for a visa in accordance with US immigration law and policy."
One of the central goals of U.S. foreign policy has been to promote 'respect for human rights'.
When asked whether the controversy over Modi's visa application might deter US-India bilateral relations, Psaki said, "Absolutely not. We have - the Vice President was just there and we have a longstanding, strategic and productive relationship with India."
The controversy over Modi's visa application gained attention when two letters were revealed on cyber space, signed by 65 MPs, asking for the US state department to deny Modi of a US visa.
But on Wednesday, nine MPs denied signing any letter. Among them, five belonging to Congress could not recall signing any such letter. Sitaram Yechury of Communist Party of India (Marxist) was the first one to deny signing the letter.
"The one circulating in cyberspace, now many months after it was allegedly signed, is typed on the letterhead of an MP that carries the insignia of our national symbol, the Ashok Chakra. The heading under which some signatures are appended says: 'Names and signatures of Indian MPs'. Strange, which other country's MPs would sign on the letterhead of the Indian parliament? This itself suggests some efforts at cut and paste," Yechury told IANS.
But Rajya Sabha Independent member Mohammed Adeeb, who had forwarded the alleged letter to US President, still asserted the letters to be genuine.
"I am shocked. I don't believe that a person like Yechury is saying something like this. I have his signature. His name is ninth in the list. How can I paste it? I am a member of parliament and I cannot do such a thing. If he says that I have cheated him, I will take him to court," Adeeb told the news agency.
Adeeb also announced that he would resign if he is proven guilty for tampering of the list mentioned in the letter.