US spying on BJP puts shadow on Narendra Modi's visit

Efforts by the Obama administration and the Modi government to put recriminations behind them have run into another tempest following disclosure that Washington sought and obtained legal authorization to spy on the BJP, among a few political factions and parties that were singled out for attention by the United States.

That the omnibus spying programme by the US National Security Agency enveloped 193 countries (including India) comes as no surprise, but what is striking is that the Obama administration in 2010 sought authorization from the shadowy Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to conduct surveillance on BJP among six political outfits worldwide. Others listed in Edward Snowden's disclosure of the NSA operation are Amal of Lebanon, an outfit with alleged links to Hezbollah; the Bolivarian Continental Coordinator of Venezuela, with purported links to FARC; Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood; Egyptian National Salvation Front; and Pakistan People's Party.

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