UK could grant Narendra Modi a visa in May: Indian media

India News Bulletin Desk
Gujarat CM Narendra Modi to get UK visa
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Reports in the Indian media are claiming that British Prime Minister David Cameron has suggested that Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi may be granted a UK visa in May – eight years after it denied him visa over his alleged complicity in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The u-turn comes at a time when Modi’s popularity in the state election is increasing and his potential to become BJP’s candidate for the role of prime minister is becoming real.

According to the reports in India, UK’s decision to grant Modi a visa is its strategy to appeal to the Gujarati Indian voters in the UK. If granted, he may visit UK in his political capacity.

Of the 1.5 million Indians in the UK, a little over half are Gujaratis.

63-year-old hardliner Modi was last in the UK in 2003 when the BJP-led coalition NDA was in power. But at that time he was not on a state visit. In 2005, he was denied a visa because of allegations of his complicity in the 2002 Gujarat violence between Hindus and Muslims.

While Cameron did not meet Modi on his three-day visit to India between February 18 and 20, he is likely to send a group of MPs and business delegation to Gujarat to boost UK’s trade ties with the state.

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