Narendra Modi heads the elected government of Gujarat, which is an important state and can play a key role in fostering better Indo-British ties, British High Commissioner to India James Bevan said on Wednesday.

“Gujarat is an important state and Narendra Modi is its Chief Minister. He heads the elected government of a state which like other states can play a key role in fostering better Indo-British ties,” Mr. Bevan said in reply to a question.

“If we want stronger relations with India we can’t overlook Gujarat, can we?” he asked.

When asked whether Britain’s perception of Mr. Modi would change in the wake of his projection as the Prime Ministerial candidate by the main opposition party of the country, he evaded a direct reply saying, “I met Modi last year and would like to stick to my remark at that time that engaging with him was not tantamount to endorsing him.”

“We have great faith in Indian democracy. But we can only be spectators and not commentators in it.”

However, he refused to comment on the British ban on issuing a visa to the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.

When asked whether Mr. Modi would be issued a visa now if he applies for it, he said, “It is a hypothetical question and I would prefer not to comment on that.”