On Feb. 13, U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell met
Narendra Modi for the first time, ending the U.S. policy of shunning the
popular chief minister of Gujarat, five months after he announced
his candidacy for prime minister.
Because of allegations of complicity in the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat,
Washington denied Modi a visa in 2005, and until February had refrained from engaging
with him. But it's not just Washington that's warmed to Modi. The Indian
public, by a margin of more than three-to-one, would prefer Modi's right-of-center,
Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party rather than the ruling left-of-center Indian
National Congress party to lead the next Indian government, according to a new
Pew Research Center survey.