Washington: Observing that Gujarat remains an important state for its investment, the United States on Friday said it would continue to engage with the Indian state across a broad range of issues including trade, investment, university linkages and people-to-people exchanges.
However, it refrained from making any comment on the just concluded Assembly elections in the state, terming it as domestic Indian politics, and also on the issue of visa to Narendra Modi, the Gujarat Chief Minister, saying there had been no change on its policy in this regard.
"Gujarat remains an important state for American investment, and has shown itself to be a very welcoming environment where American businesses flourish," a State Department spokesperson said.
"We continue to promote and encourage investment there, and we continue to engage with Gujarat across a broad range of issues: trade, investment, energy, university linkages, and people-to-people exchanges," the spokesperson said. Describing it as a matter of "domestic Indian politics" the spokesperson refused to entertain any question on the just concluded Assembly elections in Gujarat.
In January, a large American delegation led by US India Business Council (USIBC) is travelling to Ahmedabad to attend the "Vibrant Gujarat" summit. The delegation is likely to meet Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Meanwhile, prominent American newspapers reported the results of the Gujarat Assembly elections, which is rarely done by US dailies. "Modi wins 3rd term as state leader, setting stage for prime ministerial bid" headlined The Washington Post article. The paper said that by this win Modi has bolstered his chances of leading the country's main opposition party into national elections scheduled for 2014.
"Hailed for his pro-business image and for successfully inviting global corporations such as General Motors and Ford to set up large factories in Gujarat, in western India, Modi has delivered impressive economic growth in the state, averaging about 10 per cent a year. He has never faced allegations of corruption, a rarity among Indian politicians," the daily reported. "Resounding Victory in Indian Vote Nudges Polarizing Figure Closer to a Larger Race," said the headline of the article in The New York Times.
"The polarising leader of the western state of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, inched closer to becoming the leading political challenger to India's dominant Gandhi family by winning a resounding re-election as chief minister," it said.