Post-Wharton snub, Modi finds taker in U.S. House member

It is time America opened a dialogue with Modi, who may well be India’s next PM: Eni Faleomavaega

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:11 pm IST

Published - March 08, 2013 02:48 am IST - AHMEDABAD:

After the Wharton Economic Forum scrapped Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s video address, he has drawn support from a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs. Eni Faleomavaega, a member of the Subcommittee on Asia and Pacific, has appealed to the U.S. to open a dialogue with Mr. Modi.

Mr. Faleomavaega, in his statement, opined that “it was time for the U.S. to open a dialogue with Chief Minister Narendra Modi of India’s Gujarat State who may very well be India’s next Prime Minister.”

He said: “The U.S.-India relationship is significant. It is one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century, and CM Modi is a leading figure.”

“CM Modi’s philosophy of bringing development to ‘the doorstep of every poor person, every farmer, every worker’ is a philosophy that transcends caste, culture, regional and religious differences and has led to a decade of unprecedented growth and development in Gujarat — a key State — which has contributed considerably to India’s economy,” he added.

He cited the recently concluded Vibrant Gujarat 2013 summit and several international automobile majors setting up factories in Gujarat and said: “It could be argued that Gujarat — an economic powerhouse — is now the global gateway to India.”

On the 2002 riots, Mr. Faleomavaega argued that while he was aware of the “2002 communal riots and sees eye to eye with the national and international community that what happened calls for justice and accountability, the fact remains that after an investigation that has been ongoing for almost a decade, India’s Supreme Court has not found any evidence against CM Modi. So I question the Supreme Court’s recent decision to allow for a new petition to be put forward.”

“I believe such action is politically motivated and that the U.S. should shift its attitude and extend the hand of friendship to CM Modi, just as the European Union and the U.K. are doing, given that CM Modi is the frontrunner among the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidates,” he stated.

“Now is the right time for engagement and I sincerely hope we will begin to engage sooner rather than later,” Mr. Faleomavaega said.

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