24 Aug, 2006 IANS
AHMEDABAD: The US embassy has denied a visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's close aide and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Purshottam Rupal as well as 74 others from the state.
Rupala had applied for a visa to attend the three-day World Gujarati Conference in New Jersey beginning September 1.
"I had applied for the visa after I received invitation for the Gujarati meet, but the US embassy has rejected my visa application without assigning any reasons," said Rupala.
The invitation to Rupal and many other politicians, spiritual leaders and businessmen from the state had come from the Association of Indians of North America (AINA).
A large number of those invited had applied for the US visa, but till now 75 applications, including that of Rupala, have been rejected.
Last year, the Bush administration had denied a visa to Modi following protests by US-based human rights groups over the 2002 sectarian violence in Gujarat in which at least 1,000 people were killed.
Following that, Britain had refused to accord Modi the status of a state guest and provide him with official security, leading him to cancel the visit.