"It is very clear that Modi is (now) a national political figure and not simply a regional figure. He would be the lead spokesperson for the BJP in this election. I think the United States should recognize that act and find ways to engage (with him)," Karl F Inderfurth, the former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs from 1997-2001, said.

A close watcher of political developments in India and an eminent American expert of India-US relationship, Inderfurth currently is the Senior Adviser and Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies of the prestigious think-tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

While Inderfurth maintained that it is for the US State Department to decide on its visa policy with regard to Modi, he insisted that in the light of the new development the Obama Administration should finds ways to engage with Modi.

"We have already seen a number of US delegations travelling to Gujarat and meeting with the Chief Minister,” he said.

"Now how that is played out, I leave that to the State Department. I and other Americans would be watching this election with great interest," he said.

"In part because, I am hopeful that, after the election takes place, after the new government is formed, whichever party/coalition that it would be then be able to address many of the difficult issues being faced by India," he said.

Responding to the official US position for the past several months on no change in its visa policy with regard to Modi, Inderfurth said he would let the State Department speak for itself.

"I think, that the United States should recognize the role that Modi would be playing at the national scene and we need to respond accordingly," he said.

Modi is scheduled to address the Indian-American community and BJP supporters over the weekend through live satellite during the two-day convention of the Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) in Tampa.

The event with the theme 'Mission 2014: BJP 272+' would be inaugurated by BJP's national vice president Smriti Irani. Noting that the entire diaspora is elated on hearing the announcement that Modi is the prime ministerial candidate, OFBJP in a statement said it has fortified its resolve to make BJP win resoundingly in the parliament elections.


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