WASHINGTON - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was denied American visa for nearly a decade because of his involvement in 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat, will not address a joint session of Congress during his visit to the United States in September, according to Foreign Policy magazine.
The information was revealed by a July 30 letter written by US States Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner to Modi. The letter was acquired by Foreign Policy.
The previous two prime ministers of India, Atul Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh both addressed the US Congress. Among Pakistani leaders, Field Marshal Ayub Khan and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto were given the honour to address the Congress. In his letter to Modi, Speaker Boehner said “If not for the unpredictability of the House schedule in late September of this year, an invitation for you to address a joint meeting during your upcoming trip to the United States would have been extended.” Boehner also said in the letter that he wanted the PM to be “aware” of the interest that existed in the US House of Representatives to have him address a joint meeting, though at a “future date.” “I would be very interested in exploring with you the possibility of a visit to the United States Capitol and an address to a joint meeting of Congress should your travels bring you back to our country in the months and years ahead,” Boehner stated in his letter.