Annual Convention in Tampa Concludes with Narendra Modi Reaching Out to Indian Diaspora


TAMPA, FL: Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) USA convened an annual convention in Tampa, during Friday, September 20, and Saturday, September 21,  at local India Cultural Center (ICC). Smriti Irani, BJP national Vice President inaugurated the convention on Friday and presided over the women and youth forum along with co-panelist Prodyut Bora, national executive member of the BJP. On September 21, a delegate session was convened and in the concluding session, Narendra Modi addressed the Indian Diaspora for the first time as NDA’s prime ministerial candidate via live satellite. The telecast was facilitated by TV Asia across USA, Canada, Europe and India. A huge gathering of over 1500 people assembled at ICC hall in a festive mood to listen to the most popular leader of India. Over 150 delegates representing OFBJP’s 22 chapters in USA including members of National Council and Executive Committee, and Advisory Council attended to brain storm and evolve an effective strategy to achieve the goal of Mission 2014: a clear majority for the BJP in the next Parliamentary elections. Over 500 people attended the inaugural session on Friday evening. The theme of the convention was Mission 2014.

Addressing the Indian Diaspora, Narendra Modi paid condolences to the victims of terrorism at Nairobi Mall. Contrasting the great achievements of NDA Government headed by Vajpayee and Advani with Congress led UPA government that took the country in a downward spiral with its massive corruption and mis-governance. He said that growth rate was 8.4 per cent during NDA government and now it is 4.8 per cent under UPA government. He said “People are looking only towards BJP to save the country from the current crisis”. He urged all Indian passport holders abroad to register and vote to ensure the defeat of corrupt UPA government democratically. He said that the 2014 election would be people’s voice as in post emergency 1977 elections during which neither media nor pundits could influence the voters.

During his entire speech placards reading “Jee-Jaan Laga Denge”, “BJP 272+”, “We Can We Will” were displayed accompanied by slogans. Earlier, the program started with classical dance performance on “Ganesh Vandana” and “Vandemataram” and received a standing ovation to the Odissi dance performers.

During the session on Saturday September 21, OFBJP-USA passed a political resolution introduced by Immediate Past President, Dr. Adapa Prasad on behalf of Indian Diaspora. He also presented a charge-sheet against UPA government. Past President, Prof. Dinesh Agrawal presented a critical analysis of past and 2014 parliament election. The convention chair and President Elect, Shri Chandrakant Patel acted as emcee and introduced the guests. President, Shri Jayesh Patel welcomed the audience and described the achievements of OFBJP over past few years. National Advisory Council Member, Ram Rakshpal Sood gave an account on the life and message of Swami Vivekananda. Irani urged the delegates to develop talking points and motivate the Indian diaspora to call and write to their respective friends and families in India urging them to vote for BJP. Three different sessions of Socio-Economic conditions in India moderated by Adapa Prasad; How OFBJP volunteers could campaign for BJP moderated by Chandrakant Patel; and Role of Social Media on the society moderated by Tampa Coordinator, Lalji Goswami were conducted. Several delegates spoke during their respective sessions and made suggestions. Prodyut Bora elaborated on how an Indian Passport holder could enroll and vote in India’s elections and how volunteers could work in the campaign. Dr. Mahesh Mehta, the National Coordinator said in his closing observations that the delegates should take inspiration from former NRI leaders such as Subhash Chandra Bose, Veer Savarkar, Madam Kama, Sardar Patel, Shyamji Krishna Verma , Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi who fought against British Rule in India while in abroad. He said, “Gadar Movement started  from California” and  encouraged to identify 2000 plus volunteers to take the campaign to every village in India.

During the inaugural session on Friday September 20, Irani highlighted the achievements of Gujarat government headed by its visionary leader, Narendra Modi through good governance. She said that Modi has brought the good governance on the electoral agenda through his growth oriented stellar performance. Earlier, while addressing the women and youth forum along with Prodyut Bora, Irani said that Modi has become a “youth magnet” of India towards whom the entire young generation is looking with great hope to solve India’s complex problems. Panelist Prodyut Bora urged the youth to reach out to colleges and universities to motivate them to register to vote.

During the respective two days of public events, audience was enthralled by the noted poet Shri Gajendra Solanki with his well-recognized patriotic songs and poetry preceded by light music. A sumptuous complementary dinner and lunch was provided on both the days. Chandrakant Patel and his associates helped in making the event very successful.