The Congress, which has criticized Modi several times earlier over Washington denying visa to him in the wake of 2002 Gujarat riots, preferred to keep mum on the Prime Minister receiving a formal invitation from United States and said that the issue is confined between the governments of both nations.

"We had never said anything in the matter. It is between Modi and the External Affairs Minister. This is something between the governments of India and US. Why should I comment," party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters.

Congress leader Rashid Alvi echoed similar views and said, ‘It is the invitation to the head of the state and not to an individual.”

JD (U) leader Ali Anwar said the invitation would have made Modi happy, though his party does not appreciate such ideologies of United States.

Taking potshots at Modi, NCP leader Nawab Malik said, “Modi would be too excited on this invitation…but he should understand that the invitation is to Indian Prime Minister and not Modi.”

CPI leader Atul Anjan, however, said that he and any other leader should go on such invitation for building relations with foreign countries.

Welcoming the changing attitude of US towards Modi, BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “The world is recognizing the potential of Narendra Modi and this is evident.”

Extending a formal invitation to Modi for a visit to US, President Barack Obama has expressed keenness to work closely with him to make the bilateral relations a ‘defining partnership’ in the 21st century.

Obama's letter of invitation was handed over to Modi by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns when he called on him in the national capital.

According to a statement from the Prime Minister's Office, Modi thanked Obama for the invitation and said he ‘looked forward to a result-oriented visit with concrete outcomes that imparts new momentum and energy to India-US strategic partnership’.


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