"There has been no change to our visa policy. Our longstanding policy with regard to the (Gujarat) Chief Minister is that he is welcome to apply for a visa and await a review like any other applicant," a spokesperson for the State Department said.

"That review will be grounded in US law. I am not going to speculate about what the outcome might be," the spokesperson said, when asked about the clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by India's Supreme Court to look into allegations against Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Modi was denied a diplomatic visa to US in 2005. US also revoked the B-1/B-2 visa issued to him earlier.

This decision of the then Bush administration was done under a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act which makes any foreign government official who was responsible or ‘directly carried out, at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom’ ineligible for the visa.

(Agencies)

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