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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/16/2014 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

New Prime Minister Narendra Modi has controversial past

The leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, Narendra Modi will be India's next Prime Minister following nationwide elections. The 63-year-old Modi has a colorful and most controversial past. At one point, the United States denied him a visa.

The leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, Narendra Modi will be India's next Prime Minister following nationwide elections.

The leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, Narendra Modi will be India's next Prime Minister following nationwide elections.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/16/2014 (10 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Narendra Modi, Hindu nationalist, visas, India


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Modi has pledged reforms to revive the nation's flagging economy. Many are viewing his victory cautiously. Modi's relationship with the country's huge Muslim minority came under scrutiny.

Gujarat state was wracked with anti-Muslim violence back in 2002. More than a 1,000 people, the majority of them Muslims, were killed.

Starvation never takes a vacation --

As the state's chief minister, Modi came under fire for not doing enough to halt the violence. A Supreme Court-ordered investigation absolved him of blame last year.

India's outgoing Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh is expected to tender his resignation to the nation's President this weekend. The Prime Minister's official Twitter account said Singh had called Modi to congratulate him on his "party's victory."

Analysts predict Modi's election will bring a change in direction for the world's most populous democracy, a nation whose modern character has been defined by the defeated Indian National Congress Party, which has been dominant since the country's independence in 1947.

Polls had indicated a slump in support for the ruling Congress Party, which has been dogged by high-profile corruption scandals coupled with inflation and a slowed economy.

The U.S. denied Modi a visa over the anti-Muslim violence in 2005, which suggests a testy relationship between the U.S. and India's next Prime Minister.

The U.S. State Department before the election had not said what it would do when Modi applies for a visa in the future. They reiterated that the nation of India is an important partner.

"We don't talk about visa applications," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. "We're looking forward to working with the new Indian government when they're elected."

State Department officials confirmed that Modi will be given a visa to the U.S. once he takes office and forms a government.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated Modi, saying in a tweet that he looks forward to "growing shared prosperity."

However, past disagreements between Modi and the U.S. in the past could have an impact on relations during his term.

"There is a feeling that Narendra Modi will be much more pro-China than pro-U.S., and that could be rooted to the fact that he's had this tension with the United States over his visa, whereas the Chinese laid out the red carpet for him," Arati Jerath, an analyst and journalist in India says.

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