In a statement that could allay US concerns on future ties with India if a BJP-led government comes to power, its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has said relations between two nations "should not and cannot be influenced by incidents related to individuals".
Modi, who is viewed as a strong contender to become prime minister after the Lok Sabha election, also said that India has the "right to conduct foreign policy affairs guided by the supremacy of national interest".
Asked by IANS in an email interview if his government's foreign policy would be less pro-West in case the BJP-led NDA was voted to power, Modi said: "Relations between two nations should not and cannot be influenced by incidents related to individuals."
The US had denied Modi a visa in 2005 over the 2002 Gujarat riots in which over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed under his watch.
Outgoing US envoy Nancy Powell softened Washington's stance towards a politically rising Modi by meeting him in Gandhinagar in February this year.
Modi also said that India's foreign relations cannot be allowed to be influenced by its ties with particular countries.
"Similarly, relations between India and another nation cannot be predicated with our relations with other countries. We have a right to conduct our foreign policy affairs guided by the supremacy of national interest. We will continue to do so," Modi told IANS.
India has been viewed under the UPA dispensation of being pro-US, toeing Washington's line on Iran earlier and also being influenced by it to toe a softer line on Pakistan.