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Friday 5 April 2013

Sunita Williams ignores Narendra Modi during Gujarat visit

AHMEDABAD: Astronaut Sunita Williams hasn't spared time for Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi during her current visit to Gujarat.

Instead, she was seen throughout the day in the company of Jagruti Pandya, wife of slain minister Haren Pandya and Sunita's first cousin.

Efforts were made by the chief minister's office to tie up a meeting between Modi and Sunita but she did not respond. As a result the Modi government has not extended her protocol as a state guest though police did provide her with a pilot vehicle.

Sunita declined offer by protocol officers to travel in a Gujarat government vehicle on her arrival at Ahmedabad airport on Thursday afternoon.

During her last visit to Gujarat in September 2007 after she returned from her first space flight, Modi had attended a civic reception organized by his government in Ahmedabad in Sunita's honour.

He had praised her then but relations have gone sour since apparently because of the family's belief that Pandya's murder was more political than communal.

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