CM Narendra Modi refuses to meet US delegation
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Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday refused to meet a senior US Congressional delegation as a mark of protest against the treatment meted out to India's Deputy Council General Devyani Khobragade by the US authorities. "Refused to meet the visiting USA delegation in solidarity with our nation, protesting ill-treatment meted to our lady diplomat in USA," Modi tweeted.
The Chief Minister's Office sources maintained that the visiting delegation had been seeking an appointment with Modi for some time now. The appointment was not confirmed till Tuesday. On Tuesday, however, Modi announced on the micro-blogging site that he had refused to meet them. The US delegation's meeting with Modi was considered important as this could have been his first meeting with US Congressional after his elevation as Prime Ministerial candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
In 2005, US has denied visa to Modi over his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Of the total five members in the delegation, four represent the Republican party and one the ruling Democratic party. The delegation comprise Congressmen George Holding (Republican, North Carolina), Pete Olson (Republican, Texas), David Schweikert (Republican, Arizona), Robert Woodall (Republican, Georgia) and Madeleine Bordallo (Democrat, Guam).
India has reacted sharply to Khobragade being arrested and handcuffed in public on visa fraud charges last week in the United States.
Thirty-nine-year-old Khobragade, a 1999-batch IFS officer, was taken into custody on a street in New York as she was dropping her daughter to school before being released on a $250,000 bond after pleading not guilty in court.
Earlier on Tuesday, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde cancelled his meeting with the US delegation in New Delhi.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar also cancelled her meeting with the delegation on Monday as she felt it was not "appropriate" to meet the Parliamentarians of the US, which has badly treated one of India's senior diplomats. National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon also did not meet the US team on Monday for the same reason.
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