US Consulate may Open in Bengaluru Soon
Bengaluru: If a US Consulate opens in Bengaluru, people from Mangaluru and other closer cities may not have to go to Chennai or other US Consulate locations in India. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has expressed hope that Bengaluru may get a United States of America (USA) consulate soon. In a response to state BJP president B S Yeddyurappa, who had sought for the external affairs to impress upon the US to open a US consulate in the IT capital of India, Swaraj has said: “I am sure that given the strong economic and social links with the US, Bengaluru will also be considered as a possible location for the new US consulate.”
Swaraj in her letter to Yeddyurappa said that during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the US in June, India and US committed to open additional consulates in each other’s country. The union minister said it was agreed upon that India will open a new consulate in Seattle and the US will open a new consulate at a mutually agreed location in India. However, she has given a word of caution that the final decision rests with the US.
In 2009, the then US consul-general Andrew T Simkin had thwarted any possibility of India getting another US consulate after it had opened a new one in Hyderabad in 2008. But over the last few years, there has been an increase in demand for opening a new consulate in Bengaluru for facilitating a large number of IT companies having their businesses located in the city, and for their employees to travel to the US.
It may be recalled, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in his interaction with a US delegation in Bengaluru had requested for the setting up of a consulate in the city. He had also spoken to Richard Verma, the current US ambassador to India, during the diplomat’s visit to Bengaluru in 2015.