London/New Delhi, November 13: For the first time at international level Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a three-day visit to UK, faced question over 2002 Gujarat riots on Friday. Modi, however skipped the question and answered some other questions asked to him by international reporters in the press conference.Also Read - PM Modi Wears Unique Uttarakhand Traditional Cap Embellished with Brahmakamal Brooch, Here's All About His R-Day Attire
At a joint press conference where Modi and his UK counterpart David Cameron, the British government allowed two visiting and two local journalists to ask questions to the Prime Minister of India. Read Also: (Narendra Modi UK visit sees business deals worth $14 billion) Also Read - Parade, Parakram And Pride: India Witnesses Many Firsts at 73rd Republic Day Ceremony
A reporter from the Guardian posed the most pointed questions of the session to Modi when he was standing along with David Cameron. Also Read - 4 Reasons Why Tourism is The Next Growth Engine For India, TAAI President Jyoti Mayal Explains
According to the reports, in The Wire, the Guardian correspondent asked, “What he would say to protestors on the streets of London who claimed he did not deserve the respect that would normally be accorded to the leader of the world’s largest democracy given his record as chief minister of Gujarat”. The correspondent was referring to the allegations that he did not act to prevent the killing of Muslims in riots that shook his state in 2002.
However, Modi, skipped the question and on behalf of Indian PM David Cameron said, “I’m pleased to welcome Prime Minister Modi here. He comes here with an enormous and historic mandate from the people of India who made him Prime Minister with a record and historic majority. As for what happened in the past, there were legal proceedings”.
Modi chose not to answer the most important question of mishandling the 2002 Gujarat riots which shook the country for years.
However Modi chose to answer a question asked by the same correspondent over the travel ban issue which was posed on him by United Kingdom and European Union.
To which Modi replied, “Firstly, let’s keep the record straight. I came in 2003 and had been warmly welcomed at that time as well. The UK has never stopped me from coming here. They have never banned me from coming here. Perhaps I could not come because of my own time constraints, so please do correct this wrong perception you may have.”
The US administration canceled Modi’s visa in 2004. But before the 2014 elections, the British High Commissioner reportedly visited Gandhinagar and met Modi in a signal that London was changing its view.