A group of 80 Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and NRIs are working diligently and silently in poll-bound Gujarat to garner support for the Bharatiya Janata Party. Bearing their own cost of travel and taking out time from their busy schedules, these PIOs have come back to their villages and interact with the people as to why BJP should be voted to power.
As part of the ‘BJP Overseas’, these Gujaratis have been working on a three-pronged strategy –communication via social media, arranging a family call with their relatives in their respective villages and addressing the targeted groups.
What is Their Campaign?
Ask Vasudev Patel, organisation secretary, Overseas BJP USA, and President of Federation of Gujarati Association USA, how his team contributes to the campaigning and Patel would give an elaborate reply.
“This election is a reflection of the 2024 elections. We know that the BJP will win 150 seats, yet we came. We believe if Gujarat gets stronger, no one can match anything about PM Modi,” added Patel whose native village is in Mehsana.
There are almost 80 people in Gujarat from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Fiji, and England.
There is a process for how Overseas BJP works throughout the country in every election. “We have layers of communication. The first one is social media. The second layer of communication is through a phone call. When Yogi ji (Yogi Adityanath) was elected for the first time, I had spent 6 weeks in 14 constituencies. Bigger cities were covered by Yogi but smaller cities were covered by us. So, we have our own target groups. When I was in UP, I ask if I can communicate with the students and it worked,” added Patel who had assisted NYPD as a forensic expert.
The PIOs while quoting the BJP campaign – ‘I made Gujarat — said, “We are saying we made Gujarat and what is our contribution is why we are here.”
Patel says India is the safest place for Hindus and they are also working to have pro-Indian policies in our respective countries. “Our role is to put our viewpoint to senators and help in making laws that can have our wellbeing at the core. There was this one time that I was in a group visiting a Nobel prize location and I told my guide showing the picture of the PM” that this man will also be winning this one day. A White girl from Norway looked at the picture and said that she knows Modi and it meant a lot to us,” added Patel.
Acharya Rohit Joshi has been coming to the campaign since 1995 and belongs to Petra but his ‘karmbhoomi’ is Nadiad. “I was council in North Eastern Illionois University. All NRIs know Modi ji very well. He is very particular in what he says. He does everything for the country. If the world is against something that is in the interest of India, PM Modi will go ahead with it. “’Bharat mata ko mazboot banane ka hai (We have to make India strong)’. I noticed that one Indian group wanted to name a road after an Indian, but the foreigners won’t accept it. Now they do. People have become more respectable towards Indians. Our main purpose to come here is to help Bharat Mata.”
Suresh Patel, who lives in New Jersey, but has come to Ranoli village in Anand district for campaigning, said, “In small villages, when I speak, people understand that we are spending our time and money to be with them for the country. We felt that we owe something to this country. I left in 1981, there were not many opportunities that why I left. With Modi ji, things are changing. Young generation is aspiring for being entrepreneurs.” He says people call him and ask him how the Aam Aadmi Party is being impacted.
The group comes handy in campaigning in every election as well.
“When I was campaigning in the Uttar Pradesh elections, I interacted with many students. There was a group of Muslim girls who had me in their WhatsApp group as ‘Uncle ji’ and had spoken about various opportunities and how our work in the country impacts us abroad. The day they voted, they called me saying they voted for the BJP. They said we don’t know about ‘abba’ and ‘bhai’ but we voted for the party. I was thrilled. The local BJP will not have been able to do this,” said Patel.
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