WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The White House congratulated new Indian leader Narendra Modi on his election victory on Friday and said he would be granted a visa for U.S. travel.

Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies swept the country's elections, putting him in position to be prime minister, and ousted the Congress party of the long-ruling Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in a seismic political shift that gives the Hindu nationalist and his party a mandate for sweeping economic reform.

Washington denied Modi a visa in 2005 over sectarian riots in Gujarat three years earlier, when he had just become chief minister of the state. More than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, were killed. He has denied any responsibility.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Modi would be granted a visa for U.S. travel.

"We congratulate Narendra Modi and the BJP on winning a majority of seats in this historical action," he said. "Once the government is formed, we look forward to working closely with the prime minister and the cabinet to advance our strong, bilateral relationship based on shared democratic values."

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Bill Trott)