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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

McMorris Rodgers invitee denied visa

WASHINGTON — An Indian leader invited to the United States by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and other lawmakers has previously been denied entry.

A U.S. Congressional delegation including McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, invited Indian government executive Narenda Modi to talk about economic development last week, The Washington Post reports. The three lawmakers visted Modi in India last week.

But Modi, chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, has been denied a visa because of a religious clashes in 2002 that killed more than 1,000 Muslims and Hindus on his watch.

The visit to India by McMorris Rodgers, Reps. Aaron Shock, R-Ill., and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., and several American businesspeople took place over 10 days and included accommodations in lavish hotels, according to records obtained by Hi India, a Chicago weekly newspaper covering South Asian politics abroad. McMorris Rodgers' office told the Post via email that the congresswoman only spent two days on the trip, which was funded by a Chicago-based political action committee.

Gujarat is located on the west coast of India and has a population exceeding 50 million. It is a locus of Indian economic activity. In 2012, Forbes magazine called it “perhaps the most market-oriented and business friendly of the Indian states,” attracting investors from General Motors and Ford. 

Roughly nine out of 10 Gujarati citizens are Hindu, and a majority of the rest are Muslim, according to the Indian Census Bureau. The 2002 discord was sparked by a Muslim attack on a train carrying Hindu pilgrims. The unrest lasted off and on from the end of February through June, mostly in northern and central Gujarat.

McMorris Rodgers' office has been asked for comment.

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.