New Delhi: In a significant move, it appears that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has reassured European Union envoys that the 2002 riots would not be repeated. This came when Modi called on the German ambassador in Delhi on January 7.
At the meeting, Modi met other envoys of EU nations too and reassured them. The meeting was significant as it also ended the informal boycott of Modi by the EU since the riots of 2002.
EU's ambassador to New Delhi has confirmed to Network 18 that the envoys quizzed Modi on the 2002 riots and that he answered them all. The ambassador also described Modi as a major figure in Indian politics. The meeting was the first that the European envoy has had with Modi since the riots nearly 11 years ago.
Reacting to the EU's quizzing of Modi, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari tweeted, "EU says accountability for Gujarat pogrom must be fixed. Does buck not stop with their lunch guest? Ignominious to be reminded by foreigners."
In 2012, the United Kingdom also ended Modi's boycott as Modi met British High Commissioner to India, James Bevan in Ahmedabad. In the meeting, Bevan reportedly pitched for strong trade and investment ties with Gujarat and improved contact between Britain and the people of Gujarat.
Modi's meetings with foreign delegates also come at a time when there is a growing clamour for him being the frontrunner to be NDA's Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.