Washington- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shall have the honor of addressing a joint session of the US Congress during a visit to Washington in September, according to the Indian media. Modi was once denied a visa for the United States due to his involvement in the massacre of Muslims.
The administration of former President George W Bush denied Modi a visa in 2005 under a 1998 US law barring entry to foreigners who have committed "particularly severe violations of religious freedom."
This resulted from the 2002 massacre of greater than 1000 people (mostly Muslims) in sectarian riots in the state following Modi’s accession to Chief Minister of Gujarat. He denied any claims of wrongdoing. India's Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that Modi had no case to answer.
Also, President Barack Obama congratulated the PM on his election victory in mid-May and invited him to the White House.
The United States seeks in India a natural ally and potential counterbalance to China in Asia. Thus, it is eager to expand business and security cooperation with Modi’s government.
However the relationship has failed to live up to that billing due to bureaucratic and regulatory obstacles in India over expanded business ties; furthermore there has been a political dispute over treatment of an Indian diplomat accused of mistreating her nanny, for which some analysts blamed the Obama administration’s lack of policy focus.
Foreign heads of states have been invited to address joint meetings of Congress since the early 1800s, normally to underscore their close allegiance with the United States.