Gandhinagar: Gujarat Chief minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the US need not preach India on human rights in the wake of its concerns on this issue in his state as reflected in leaked diplomatic cables from an American Consul.
Modi at the same time noted that the cables had also spoken of him being "incorruptible" and Gujarat being a "progressive" state.
He also said that the central government should address the issue of US "interference" in the internal affairs of India.
"(Michael) Owen had discussed Gujarat..I looked into his eyes and said America should not give us advice on human rights," Modi recalled. Michael S Owen was US' Consul General in Mumbai when he had a meeting with Modi in 2006.
Modi reiterated his stand in the wake of Owen's purported November 2, 2006 cable made public by Wikileaks that "direct encounters with Modi will also enable us to deliver a clear message regarding USG (United States Government) concerns for the state of human rights and religious freedom in Gujarat." The US had denied visa to the BJP stalwart in 2005 in the wake of 2002 post-Godhra riots.
"Ye america hame manvta ki salah na de (This America should not give us advice on human rights). I am son of India and I know what human rights violations you have done. Good that dialogue is faithfully reproduced," he told reporters today.
According to a report citing Wikileaks cables, US diplomats found themselves in 2006 facing the possibility of Modi assuming a leadership role at the national level.
Owen in his cable emphasized the need for US to open interaction with Modi.
Such interaction, Owen said in the cable, "will also shield us from accusations of opportunism from the BJP that would invariably arise if we ignored Modi now but sought a dialogue with him in the likely event that he makes it to the national stage."
To a question on alleged US interference in Indian internal affairs as suggested in the leaked US diploamtic cables over issue of appointment of Pranab Mukherjee as Finance Minister, Modi said, "Government of India should address the issue of American interference in internal matters of India."
Modi also said "America has shown me incorruptible. There are many non- corrupt people, but they have termed me incorruptible, which is good for the people of Gujarat. Wikileaks shows two faces one that of Government of India and another of progressive Gujarat.
The Mumbai Consulate's 2,850-word assessment, which was cleared by the New Delhi Embassy before being cabled to the State Department, said "If Modi does eventually get a national leadership role in the BJP in the foreseeable future, the USG will be obliged to decide how it wants to deal with a figure of national prominence whose B1/B2 we revoked."