The US ambassador Ms. Nancy Powell has met the Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi today. The decision by the US administration to resume contact with the Gujarat Chief Minister appears to be based on their suo moto assessment of the domestic situation in India. I regard it as an internal corrective of the US administration. The earlier decision not to keep contact with an elected representative in India did not appear to be based on any cogent evidence or court verdicts. It was based on excessive propaganda in the media and elsewhere created by certain NGOs.
For us in the BJP, the meeting is a part of the diplomatic routine. The Gujarat Chief Minister is unquestionably the frontrunner in the 2014 general elections. He has convincingly won the State assembly elections three times. The earlier decision of some countries not to deal with him was a failure of India’s foreign policy. It is not for a political party or a State government, to react to another country’s response of dealing or otherwise with elected representatives in India. It was for the External Affairs Ministry (MEA) to react to it. Did the MEA under the UPA fail in this regard? Unquestionably it did.
The reaction of the External Affairs Minister Mr. Salman Khurshid to this meeting is self-evident. The Congress Party is today a demoralized lot. For it the writing on the wall is very clear. Its best case scenario is a defeat in the elections. The logical scenario appears to be indicating a complete rout. Its vote base has disappeared. The arrogance of its leaders still remains. That arrogance is evident even in the reactions in the past few hours. The External Affairs Minister who should have protected the dignity of an elected representative in India appears distressed even as the US Ambassador met the Gujarat Chief Minister.
The Indo-US relationship is an important pillar of India’s foreign policy. The NDA Government led by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had contributed to strengthening of this relationship. All sides must realize that restraint and statesmanship can enable us to overcome transient problems. Aberrations cannot be exaggerated to disturb the balance in the relationship.