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Manmohan concerned over visa denial to Modi

Press Trust of India

Posted: Mar 19, 2005 at 1232 hrs IST

Expressing serious concern over denial of visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi by the US, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said his government has urged Washington to reconsider the decision.

"It is not a matter of partisan politics, it is a matter of principles...Government of India's immediate and urgent response equally shows our principled stand in this matter," Singh told the Rajya Sabha.

He was responding to leader of Opposition Jaswant Singh’s special mention that the ground on which Modi was denied visa was totally unacceptable.

Sharing members' anguish on the issue, the Prime Minister said that when he came to know about the denial of visa to Modi, he immediately instructed External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh to call the US envoy and explain to him India's "concern and regret" on the move.

He said that Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran had also summoned the deputy chief of the US mission to issue a "strong demarche" on the decision.

"Our government has equally pointed out our deep concern and regret over the US decision to deny visa to a Constitutionally elected Chief Minister of our country", Singh said.

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