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FP: Will India's Next Leader Be Banned from America?

Author: John Hudson
December 13, 2013

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"Pollsters say the BJP is now widely expected to win next year's general election, which would make the party's controversial prime ministerial nominee, Narendra Modi, the next leader of India. The State Department won't say whether a Prime Minister Modi would be allowed entrance to the United States, but experts say the question looms large over the U.S.-India relationship."

A series of elections in India last week has exposed a major diplomatic problem for the U.S. State Department: The man expected to lead the world's largest democracy in 2014 is not legally allowed to enter the United States. The reason: his involvement in anti-Muslim riots that killed more than 1,000 people. The travel restriction is insulting to many Indians and threatens future U.S.-India relations, but the State Department has few workable options, if any.

On Sunday, India's Hindu nationalist opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), trounced the ruling Congress in a number of key state assembly polls. Pollsters say the BJP is now widely expected to win next year's general election, which would make the party's controversial prime ministerial nominee, Narendra Modi, the next leader of India. The State Department won't say whether a Prime Minister Modi would be allowed entrance to the United States, but experts say the question looms large over the U.S.-India relationship.

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