Hit by reports of NSA spying on BJP, US expects business as usual

Amid a furore in India over reports that the US National Security Agency was authorised to spy on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in 2010, the US today said it hopes the matter would not impact ties with India.

When asked by reporters in Washington whether the revelations would hurt India-US ties, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki replied, ''Well, we certainly hope not."

Meanwhile, US Senator John McCain, who is in India on a two-day visit, told a TV channel in an interview that the reports of NSA snooping on the now-ruling BJP are embarrassing. He also admitted that there is a need for more judicial and Congressional supervision of the US surveillance programme.

On Prime Minister Narendra Modi's impending official visit to Washington, Peski said, "As you know, there's been an invitation issued for a visit, and we're looking forward to that, hopefully in the fall.

"We look forward to continuing discussion on a full range of bilateral and regional issues," she added.

Citing documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, The Washington Post had on Tuesday reported that the BJP was among six political organisations across the world that NSA was authorised to spy on by a US court.

Psaki declined to "comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity".

Asked if the BJP had been taken off the surveillance list since it had now become the ruling party, she said, "I'm just not going to have any more details I can lay out for you, other than to convey that we have a deep and broad partnership with India."