US ready to work with Narendra Modi, visa not an issue: Officials
The US would be willing to work with BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, if the party is voted to power in the next general elections, senior Obama administration officials here have said asserting that the enduring bilateral relationship is to continue irrespective of the poll results.
"We will work with the leader of the world's largest democracy. There is no question about that," a senior US official yesterday said when asked about the prospects of working with an Indian Government led by Bharatiya Janata Party's PM nominee Narendra Modi.
Dismissing visa as a non-issue, the official said it was largely a creation of the Indian media and not at all an issue in the US Government.
"Visa issue is a media creation. He has to apply and we will review. He (Modi) has not applied (for a visa)," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
"You said you have very strong relationship with Prime Minister Singh. If Modi become the Prime Minister next year, would that be problematic for the United States?" the official was asked.
"I think that the United States had a very strong relationship with the previous Indian government when it was under BJP leadership," the US official said.
"I think the relationship between the United States and India is an enduring one, it is a bipartisan in the United States, irrespective of who is in office. And we believe that (in a) multiparty (system) in India that it is supported by all political parties, we expect that relationship to continue," the official said.
According to another US official "there is not a lot of angst about him (Modi)" in the US Government, but it is believed that the Administration has decided to maintain the status quo on this issue for the very reason that it might be seen as an interference in the internal domestic polity of India.
Any change in the status quo, might be used as political parties to politicise the issue ahead of the elections, sources said, adding that the US would be working with any leader who is elected as the Prime Minister of India after the next year’s general elections.