Gandhinagar, India: Amidst a raging controversy over the funding of the visit of three members of the US Congress, who have spoken for an American visa for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the Congressmen rejected allegations questioning the legitimacy of their trip.
The visit of a group of Americans including the three Congressmen — Aaron Schock, Cynthia Lummis and Cathy M Rodgers — and some businessmen has now been mired in a controversy following reports that the team members may have paid between $ 3,000 (Rs 16,000) and $ 16,000 (Rs 8.68 lakh) each for the trip.
Organised by Chicago-based National Indian American Public Policy Institute (NIAPPI), the trip included visits to Bangalore, Tirupati, Jaipur, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and Golden Temple in Amritsar and a ‘Bollywood Extravaganza’.
The team met Modi on Thursday, praised his work and invited him to visit the US, saying they will work to get him a visa, denied by the country for his alleged role in the post-Godhra riots of 2002.
Following reports in an ethnic Indian daily in the US on the trip, the Congress and the BJP traded attacks on each other.
Congress Spokesperson Rashid Alvi said it was a “shame that the Congressmen were paid for getting a visa and certificate of development for Modi”.
Vijay Jolly, convenor of Overseas BJP, rejected the charges, saying the Congressmen have spent their own money and there was no impropriety involved.