An early day motion (EDM) tabled on Thursday in the House of Commons by Labour Member of Parliament Mike Wood has called upon the Secretary of State for the Home department to reinstitute the ban on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi from entering the United Kingdom.
Mr. Modi was invited last month by Barry Gardiner, Labour MP and current Chair of the Labour Friends of India, to deliver a talk in the House of Commons on “The future of India.” Mr. Wood’s EDM expresses concern that the 10-year ban on Mr Modi was lifted “for economic and diplomatic reasons, ignoring the role Mr. Modi and his administration played in the violence that warranted the ban,” namely “his role in the communal violence in 2002 that claimed the lives of hundreds if not thousands of Muslims, including British nationals.”
The grounds on which Mr. Modi was previously denied a visa included “severe violations of religious freedom.” The EDM calls on the Speaker and the House authorities to “ban Mr. Modi from entering the Palace of Westminster.”
EDMs are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons, although they are very rarely debated. They are usually used to draw attention to an event or campaign, or a point of view.
Meanwhile, the Asian Solidarity Forum, along with other south Asian organisations, has called for a protest demonstration outside Mr. Gardiner’s office in Wembley on September 9, demanding that he withdraw the invitation. Mr. Gardiner has released a press statement saying Mr. Modi will not be visiting as he is very busy for the next few weeks.
However, the protest will be held “until Mr. Gardiner withdraws his invitation,” said Amrit Wilson, a writer and a prominent activist of the anti-Modi campaign.
Turner prize artist Anish Kapoor has joined those who have appealed to the U.K. government to stop Mr. Modi from visiting the country.