The Overseas Friends of BJP are seeking support from Indian-Americans (Representational)
A group in the US which claims to be affiliated to the BJP has begun galvanising support among the Indian-American community for elections in India. The Overseas Friends of BJP or OFBJP recently organised a music and poetry event in Tampa, Florida, where Indians were told about ways they can participate in the 2019 general elections and the Gujarat assembly polls later this year.
The event comes in the backdrop of the Indian government clearing a proposal to amend the country's electoral law to allow overseas Indians to vote in elections through their proxies.
Chandrakant Patel, a former OFBJP (US) president and Tampa resident, welcomed the decision by the union cabinet on Wednesday. "This is great news for NRIs (non-resident Indians)," Mr Patel told the audience. "India today is being recognised in the global arena. Even the Indian diaspora is feeling very proud and positive," he said.
At the event, Sudhir Shah, a national council member of OFBJP, asked the participants to "stop forwarding" negative emails and messages about India and the party. The participants at the event - where the birth centenary of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh icon Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was also celebrated - were asked to call "five or 10 of your relatives" in India during the elections to vote.
Mr Shah asked Indian-Americans to be a part of a 'telethon', which OFBJP is planning before each of the upcoming polls. "We will give you 10 to 15 (phone) numbers of people in India. You call them and ask them to vote for Modi sarkar. This is what we did three years ago... When someone calls from America, it makes a big impact on the people of India," he said.