Washington : The US looks forward to the formation of a new Indian government and working closely with next administration, President Barack Obama said Monday, hailing the Indian polls as “a vibrant demonstration of our shared values of diversity and freedom”.
The US president congratulated the Indian people on concluding their national elections Monday, Xinhua quoted a White House statement as saying.
“India has set an example for the world in holding the largest democratic election in history,” Obama said in the statement, hailing the polling as “a vibrant demonstration of our shared values of diversity and freedom.”
India Monday concluded its final phase of nine-phase parliamentary election with a record high turnout of over 66 percent throughout the polling, which lasted for over a month and more 500 million voters participating in it.
The US and India have developed a strong friendship and comprehensive partnership over the last two decades, Obama said, adding that the ties have “made our citizens safer and more prosperous and …enhanced our ability to work together to solve global challenges”.
Exit polls showed India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party — with Narendra Modi as its prime minister nominee — likely to win a majority in Lok Sabha — lower house of Parliament.
The official results of the election will be announced Friday (May 16).
The US imposed a visa ban on Modi in 2005 for his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots in which over 1,000 people were killed. But Modi has not yet been convicted by any court of law after so many investigations.
US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal, however, said in March that Washington was ready to do business with Modi “if he becomes the next Indian prime minister”.
In February, the outgoing US ambassador to India, Nancy Powell, visited Modi at his home in Gujarat, apparently putting an end to a long estrangement.