Washington: Denying it had gone soft on Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi over his alleged role in 2002 Gujarat riots, the US says it continues to express concerns about communal violence across India
Unlike previous years, India section of the State Department's Congressionally mandated "2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices" released Thursday makes no reference to the Gujarat chief minister by name.
But spokesperson Jen Psaki insisted that it did not indicate any softening of US stand saying, "We're very clear about our concerns about several episodes of communal violence across India.
"I don't have any new policy or change in policy or new update to report to you," or anything "to convey to you on the status of a visa" for Modi, she said.
Modi was denied a diplomatic US visa and his business/ tourist was revoked by the State Department in 2005 over his alleged role in the 2002 riots. Modi has not applied for a US visa since then.
Repeating the standard US formulation, Psaki said: "We encourage individuals to apply, and those proceedings or processes are private by standard. It's standard that they're private."
"What I'm conveying to you is that we continue to express concerns about communal violence as it exists in India," she said.