US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell plans to meet Narendra Modi, signalling a shift in America's stand towards the BJP's prime ministerial candidate in connection with 2002 Gujarat riots.
According to sources, Powell is all set to meet Modi on Feb 14. However, the date of their meeting has not been confirmed yet. Modi-Powell meeting is not crucial for BJP, but Congress too will keep a tab on it with its hawk eyes.
US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell plans to meet Narendra Modi
According to experts, the decision also sprang from a shift in the internal balance of power in Washington DC. The move is believed to boost Gujarat CM's international legitimacy. The upcoming Modi-Powell meeting may also help BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha election which is due by May 2014.
A Delhi-based Western diplomatic source was quoted as saying, "I think it is less that the US making a judgement that he will win. It is more a case of wanting to engage with all the key possibilities for a new government here."
The source, on the condition of anonymity, also added, "His chances have been improving over the last 12 months. Till last summer, American friends did not think he would come so far."
Meanwhile, sources also informed that US may offer visa to Modi who has been denying it since 2002. The Gujarat CM was not allowed to apply for American visa over his alleged role in 2002 Gujarat riots.