Narendra Modi. Pic: AP.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Indian election results due Friday provide a chance to repair relations with the U.S. that were strained by the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York last year.

But there’s a big catch: Washington’s uneasy relationship with the man expected to become India’s next prime minister.

Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi was denied a U.S. visa in 2005 for alleged complicity in deadly religious riots in the state he governed.

Exit polls after voting ended Monday show his party has a large lead over its main competitor.

The Obama administration started mending fences in February when the U.S. ambassador met with Modi, and if Modi becomes prime minister, he could visit Washington.

But the controversy over his visa denial could leave some hard feelings.

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