|Date: 22 Jun 2008|
Ahmedabad, June 21 The director of AIANA- Association of Indian Americans in North America, Sunil Nayak, has confirmed the invitation to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the ‘World Gujarati Conference óChaalo Gujarat’ in New Jersey later this year.
Incidentally, Modi has been denied visa by US authorities following opposition by civil rights activist in the wake of the 2002 riots. Nayak said he will meet the chief minister for talks on a possibility of a visit on June 22.
He said, “We have invited him to address the conference. We don’t have a say in visa formalities, but his officials will look into the same. Whether he will attend the conference or address it through video conferencing can be confirmed tomorrow.”
AIANA came into existence following an initiative by 150 Indian Americans in the wake of the denial of a visa to Modi. Nayak said: “The very night he was denied a visa, after a couple of calls; we had around 150 people at one in the night discussing whether such an association should be formed. Although he was denied a visa but the conference then had seen the single largest participation in the US held for any foreign leader.”
Incidentally, some Indian-American groups had threatened to organise protests against his visit in 2005 and two American Congressmen had planned to introduce a resolution condemning the policies and actions of the state administration in the light of riots.
Since then the Association has constantly worked for different issues related to Indian Americans who have come under this roof.