Britain however stressed that the decision to “re-engage” with Gujarat was taken in the national interest of UK and should not be seen as an “endorsement” of any individual.
Britain had decided to boycott Modi after the riots of 2002 in which about 1,000 people, including three Britons of Gujarati origin, were killed. Earlier this month however, the British government announced a change in policy.
“This is engagement with Gujarat and Gujarat as a whole, and not an engagement with any individual,” Bevan told mediapersons in Ahmedabad after his meeting. “I don’t agree with your perception that we are rehabilitating Mr Modi, this engagement is not about endorsement. If we need to engage with some state, we need to engage with the chief minister of the state and Mr Modi is the democratically elected leader of Gujarat.”
Asked about the timing of Britain’s decision just ahead of the polls, Bevan said, “I sought to make it clear that we are not taking a political position on the election in Gujarat... Who runs Gujarat is a matter of the people of the state. Frankly, I feel the Gujarati voter was unlikely to be swayed in his or her decision... considering that the High Commissioner has spent eight hours in Ahmedabad.”
Asked about human rights violations in Gujarat, Bevan said they considered the issue important but “engaging with Gujarat” was a step in the right direction not only for pending human rights issues, but also “the right way to advance UK’s interest in the state”.
He also pointed out that with a former minister, Maya Kodnani, having been convicted, justice seems to be under process.
Regarding the pending case of the killing of three British citizens during the riots, the High Commissioner said, “I reaffirmed the British government’s wish to ensure justice for the families of the three British citizens.”
Talking about his meeting with Modi earlier in the day, Bevan said, “We talked about the prospects for Gujarat, which are bright, and the role the UK can play in helping ensure that Gujarat continues to thrive.”
Bevan avoided any clear answer regarding denial of a UK visa to Modi. Calling it a hypothetical question, he said: “First he has not applied for the visa, so I cannot comment. We will decide only on the basis of merit.”
The diplomat also met human rights groups, Congress leaders and the Gujarat governor.
Britain is the first to have changed its decision on Modi even as the United States continues to deny him a diplomatic visa and the European Union reiterates its boycott of him.
Modi presented Bevan a painting created by a Muslim artisan from Kutch as well as a book written by him on climate change called Convenient Action.
Apart from raising the issue of Gujarati students in the UK and talking about investment prospects in the state, Modi also invited Britain to participate in the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in January 2013, which the envoy accepted.
Maybe the British Govt wants Modi to get engaged to some British girl so that he gets married as his first wiife we hear had ditched him because if his tantrums.Now with Britsh weapons he will look how to create another Godhra war like Lord Clive of British who created Black Hole of Kolkatta.
A democratically elected CM of an Indian state does not require any endorcements from external sources. You does not qualify to endorce MODI. You people will allow Pak Army chief who indirectly operate ISI and its branches which involves in extremist across the globe in the name of religious war. You also engage with Kashmiri terrorists/seperatists and allow them into your country even though they literally pushed out Kashmiri Pundits from their home land. Did Modi forced/pushed out any native Gujaratis out of their home land? Did Modi directly or indirectly involved in burning the passengers in train? Why don't you publicly tell your opinion on such incidents also. Why do you maintain silence on some selective un-democratic, un-secular activities? You Britishers are mainly responsible for the division of India on religious grounds and Kashmir problem.
For the last several years, Modi has been successful in projecting his "vibrant Gujarat" as a role model of economic growth and himself as ''Vikas Purush". Though one must give due credit to Modi for his effective skills in making projections, one must also critically analyse this "growth story of Gujarat" based on facts and figures. Regretfully, as one examines the facts since Modi came to power in Gujarat in 2001, the story appears to be hollow and, at times, contrary to what is being projected.
First Modi must answer where are the missing children of Gujarat...he must answer what happened in 2002, he must answer who killed Haren Pandya, he must answer that why no Lokayukta in Gujarat, he must answer what CAG report says about his corrupt...before the even think to be PM
Now, when the entire state was waiting for the CAG report, Modi dismissed the entire possibility of corruption chargers by not presenting the report!! Needless to say that Modi hasn't appointed the LOKAYUKTA in Gujarat since last eight years.
Castigating the Narendra Modi government for not placing National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) reports on damages and he panel's recommendations for compensation for destruction of religious places before the state Assembly, Gujarat High Court has termed it as a %u201Cgrave lapse%u201D, violative of human rights.
Chief minister Narendra Modi didn't spell out any apology for the 2002 riots, during his speech. But he gave indication that he wants this history to be buried. Addressing people before starting his fast on Saturday, Modi asked them to forget the past and be part of the development spree. His choice of words and tone of speech were aimed at conveying a sense of regret, especially to the Muslim community.