Anish Kapoor urges MPs to cancel visit from controversial Indian politician Narendra Modi


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The Independent Online

Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor has urged politicians to withdraw the invitation to controversial Indian politician Narendra Modi to visit the UK and “take a principled stand”. The message comes as critics plan protests on Monday against one of the MPs that invited Mr Modi.

The Gujarat chief minister remains a highly controversial figure in India, where critics accuse him of complicity in anti-Muslim riots a decade ago in his state. But in recent months he has been chosen to lead the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s election campaign in 2014, making him a possible prime minister.

That prompted a cross-party group of British MPs to invite  him to address the House  of Commons.

Mr Kapoor, who was born in Mumbai and has lived in London since the early 1970s, said Britain should stand alongside America to say: “We don’t want this man. We should not give him a visa.”

Several British academics and politicians have criticised the invitation as “grotesque”. An early day motion was tabled on Thursday calling on the UK to reinstitute the ban on Mr Modi from entering the country less than a year after re-establishing ties with him.

The South Asia Solidarity group is planning to picket the Brent surgery of MP Barry Gardner, who invited Mr Modi. The Conservative Friends of India supported the move.