This Article is From Apr 16, 2015

'Grateful' PM Modi Grants Visa Power to Canada

'Grateful' PM Modi Grants Visa Power to Canada

PM Narendra Modi with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Toronto:

Addressing a large audience in Toronto on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Canadians visiting India would get a 10-year visa.

"You probably face problems but won't speak about it. We have decided...you will now get Indian visas for 10 years," PM Modi said to a 8,000-strong gathering of the Indian diaspora at the Ricoh Coliseum.

"Agar Jan-Man badal raha hai, toh bharosa bhi hona chahiye (If the ethos is changing, then there should also be trust)," he said to loud cheers.

In a one-hour speech punctuated with applause and chants of "Modi, Modi" from the audience, the prime minister also recalled that at a time he was denied a visa by the US and the UK - over the 2002 riots on his watch in Gujarat, the state he ruled for 14 years - it was Canada that granted him a visa in 2006.

"That is why I am very, very grateful to Canada," he said.

He said India's visa policy would support greater engagement and people-to-people contacts between India and Canada.

PM Modi is the first prime minister on a bilateral visit to Canada in 42 years.