Ranking Member Eni Faleomavaega of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, which has broad jurisdiction for matters affecting U.S.-India relations, announced today that on February 13, 2013 he inserted a statement into the Congressional Record congratulating Shri Narendra Modi on his re-election as Chief Minister of Gujarat.
“Congressional Record statements are made part of U.S. history and may be accessed by this and future generations,” Faleomavaega said. “Given CM Modi’s extraordinary leadership, I wanted to recognize his contributions not only to India but also to the world’s economy and so I inserted a statement about him in the Congressional Record as a token of our friendship and in honor of his accomplishments.”
“I intended to personally present this historical document to CM Modi two weeks ago and so I have not publicly commented about the document until now, although the press has already made mention of the matter. As a result of the strikes in India which I thought might impact my travels at the airport, I regretfully had to cancel my scheduled appointment with CM Modi on February 22, 2013 which would have been a follow-up to my meeting with Shri Modi in late 2010.”
“Fortunately, Mr. Sanjay Puri, founder and President of the Alliance for U.S. India Business (AUSIB) is in India this week and agreed to present the Congressional Record statement to CM Modi on my behalf. I appreciate the work Mr. Puri is doing in the U.S. Congress to promote CM Modi’s Vibrant Gujarat Initiative which can significantly boost trade between the U.S. and India, and I thank Mr. Puri for working closely with Members in the House and Senate to make sure that the views of India and Indian Americans are fully represented.”
“The U.S.-India relationship is vital to the success of the U.S. pivot to Asia and CM Modi is one of the most important political leaders in India,” the Ranking Member said. “This is why I say again that it is time for the U.S. to begin a dialogue now with CM Modi who may very well be India’s next Prime Minister.”
“Recently, I was asked by reporters what my response is to Wharton rescinding the invitation it had extended to CM Modi to speak at its India Economic Forum. My views are plain,” Faleomavaega said. “When extending its invite, Wharton knew like the U.S. knows that, more than a decade later, India’s Supreme Court has not found any evidence against CM Modi regarding the allegations that his critics continue to put forward. Therefore, it is disappointing that Wharton rescinded its invite in response to a protest from a segment of professors and students who are reaching beyond the law and coming awfully close to violating the rights of others who have a different view. Universities are a place for divergent views. For Wharton to suppress the views of some at the expense of others simply is not right.”
The full text of Ranking Member Faleomavaega’s Congressional Record statement dated February 13, 2013 is included below.
CONGRATULATING SHRI NARENDRA MODI ON HIS RE-ELECTION
AS CHIEF MINISTER OF GUJARAT
In one of my first acts of the 113th Congress as the Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific which has broad jurisdiction for U.S. policy affecting the region, including India, I rise today to congratulate Shri Narendra Modi on his re-election as Chief Minister of India’s Gujarat state.
Shri Modi’s new term as Chief Minister will be his fourth – an historic achievement for the Honorable Narendra Modi and his some 60 million constituents as no other CM has served Gujarat for as many terms. Shri Modi became the longest-serving CM of Gujarat in 2007.
Since 2001, CM Modi has led a decade of unprecedented growth and development in Gujarat. Because of his extraordinary leadership, Gujarat is now an economic powerhouse with companies like Ford and General Motors also setting up factories in a move that promises to strengthen U.S.-India trade and investment.
I thank Mr. Sanjay Puri, founder and President of the Alliance for U.S.-India Business (AUSIB), for the outstanding work he has done and continues to do in the U.S. Congress to promote U.S.-Gujarat trade and the Vibrant Gujarat initiative which has become an example of CM Modi’s visionary approach for inclusive development.
CM Modi’s philosophy of bringing development to “the doorstep of every poor person, every farmer, every worker” is a philosophy that resonates beyond the boundaries of Gujarat because it is a philosophy that transcends caste, culture, regional and religious differences.
I believe CM Modi’s approach to empowerment is why Gujarat is now the global gateway to India. His philosophy of inclusiveness is the reason why delegates from more than 121 countries attended the Vibrant Gujarat 2013 Summit to explore business opportunities and forge strategic partnerships. It is the reason why voters support Shri Modi time and again.
Shri Modi’s vision is rare. His leadership is remarkable. But his connection to Mahatma Gandhi is what strikes me most. Gujarat is Gandhi’s land. By providence or otherwise, it is also the land where Shri Modi serves. As such, it is little wonder that Gujarat State, having historically given leadership to the entire Nation and now ranked first in economic freedom in India, continues to brighten the hopes and dreams of so many.
With such accomplishment, it is my sincere hope that the United States will take a new look at Gujarat and support more openly and fully the ideas of CM Modi as he works for the betterment of the world’s economy by creating jobs at home and abroad for purposes of improving the lives of people across the globe.