It appears that Sir NaMo whether elected PM or not (unlikely IMO) will have a chance for the prize that he truly craves: a visa to the USA. So far the State Department has held back due to the coordinated efforts of the Christian lobby and the NRI secular front. The main proponent was the Gujarati (and of late) the business (US, India) lobby.
The basic argument is impeccable. A country that issues “good morals” certificates (aka visa) while happily supporting immoral regime/leader(s) through thick and thin should not hold back now, else an “authoritarian” regime will sign a friendship-as-high-as-himalayas document first.
Also it is the case that a large section of the Indian middle-class (even including some minorities) has a clear preference for an autocratic regime/leader (with economic growth as the first and only objective).
The visa was denied because of Mr. Modi’s alleged role in the 2002 riots in Gujarat that left more than 1,000 dead, most of them Muslims. But it came about from a highly unusual coalition made up of Indian-born activists, evangelical Christians, Jewish leaders and Republican members of Congress concerned about religious freedom around the globe. I had a front-row seat to these events as they unfolded. I worked in Washington. D.C., from 2003 to 2011, mostly at Amnesty International and in the United States Congress, and I was a part of the campaign to deny Mr. Modi a visa.
In 1996, Nina Shea, the director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, organized a summit sponsored by the National Association of Evangelicals, an umbrella group that represents 42,000 Evangelical Churches. At the conclusion of the event, the delegates pledged their collective efforts to “take appropriate action to combat the intolerable religious persecution now victimizing fellow believers and those of other faiths.”
In the fall of 2002, an Indian-born, Washington-based evangelical Christian named John Prabhudoss led a delegation to riot-affected Ahmedabad that included two Republican congressmen, Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania and Mr. Wolf. Another person on the trip was Raju Rajagopal, an Indian-born retired health professional based in Berkeley, Calif. “It was unimaginable what we saw in Gujarat,” Mr. Rajagopal said. “People in Gujarat told us that Indian Americans were sending loads of money to groups like the R.S.S. and the V.H.P.” that, he argued, had a role in fueling the violence, Mr. Rajagopal said. …..He co-wrote a 91-page report that alleged that the India Development and Relief Fund, which was based in the United States, had collected $4 million and sent some of the funds to right-wing Hindu groups.
Soon after the release of the report, Silicon Valley companies with large numbers of Indian-American employees promised to either stop or suspend donor matching programs with the fund. “It was a tremendous victory and it gave us momentum to keep fighting,” Mr. Rajagopal said.