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Pro-Modi American lawmaker resigns

Pro-Modi American lawmaker resigns
Republican  lawmaker Aaron Schock, who visited India in 2013 to meet then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi who faced a visa ban by the US, has quit after allegations about wrongful mileage reimbursement and taking a photographer on his India trip without informing.

"(The) constant questions over the last six weeks have proven a great distraction that has made it too difficult for me to serve the people of the 18th District with the high standards that they deserve and which I have set for myself," the Congressman from Illinois said in a statement on Tuesday.

"I have always sought to do what's best for my constituents, and I thank them for the opportunity to serve," said Schock, who was part of a delegation of Congressmen that travelled to India in March 2013 to meet Modi, who faced a visa ban by the US over the issue of 2002 post-Godhra riots.

According to his spokesperson, 33-year-old Schock has reimbursed all expenses received for official mileage since his election to Congress.

His resignation marks a swift downfall of one of the GOP's most promising young stars and prolific fundraisers, the Politico reported.

According to Politoco's investigation, Schock sought reimbursement for 172,520 miles on his car, despite the fact that he signed documents that certified the vehicle travelled less than half that distance.

In another investigation, The National Journal alleged Schock appeared to have improperly accepted money from an outside group to cover travel expenses for a companion on a trip to India and failed to disclose it in a possible violation of House rules.

Schock's photographer and videographer, Jonathon Link, travelled with him on the India trip, against the rules of the House ethics committee.

"The problem is House rules allow a member to accept private money for a companion's travel expenses only if the companion is a staffer, spouse or child. Link was none of those; he didn't appear on Schock's official or campaign payroll until September 2014," the Journal reported.

Furthermore, Schock never disclosed that Link accompanied him on the trip, it said.

"Members are allowed to accept money from private sources for some travel as long as they disclose it, and they also are required by law to disclose in writing when someone accompanies them on a trip paid for by an outside organisation," the Journal said.

"Members have to seek a waiver from the Ethics Committee to bring someone other than a staffer or family member.


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