The US on Friday said Ambassador Nancy Powell’s meeting with BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is part of its comprehensive outreach to political leaders and businesses across the spectrum ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
“In advance of the Indian national elections, Ambassador Powell and the US Consul General are engaging in comprehensive outreach across India to senior leaders in political parties, business organisations, and NGOs,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters during her news teleconference.
“This (outreach) actually started last November, and since then Ambassador Powell has been sharing and listening to views on the US-India relationship. She has also reached out to the senior leadership in the Congress Party to engage in a similar discussion,” Harf said when asked about the Modi-Powell meeting.
Ending a nine-year boycott, Powell on Thursday met Gujarat Chief Minister Modi in Gandhinagar and said her country looks forward to working closely with the government India chooses after the Lok Sabha elections.
“US-India partnership is important and strategic, and that the US looks forward to working closely with the government that the Indian people choose in the upcoming elections,” a statement quoting the envoy said after the nearly one-hour meeting.
Talking about the meeting, Harf said, “These meetings are really all part of the broader US mission’s engagement with Indian politicians across the country and across the political spectrum, in keeping with the very comprehensive nature of our relationship.”
“I know that there’s a lot of attention being paid to this (Modi-Powell) one, but it really is part of our broader outreach. And we look forward to working closely with whatever government the Indian people choose in the upcoming elections,” Harf said.
DDC vice-chairperson Ashish Khetan said, “As of today he does not hold the charge anymore.”