Houston BJP Supporters Celebrate Party’s Spectacular Win in State Elections

Three youth speakers, Sunanda Vashisht, Aadit Kapadia, and Pramod Kumar.

Three youth speakers, Sunanda Vashisht, Aadit Kapadia, and Pramod Kumar.

HOUSTON: Close to 300 enthusiastic supporters of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gathered at India House on Sunday, Dec 8 to celebrate BJP’s landslide victory in recently held state elections. Braving the chilly weather, the attendees mingled with various community leaders to exchange notes on BJP’s performance and pledged to work vigorously towards BJP’s win in the general elections in 2014.

The assembly paid homage to one of the biggest supporters and friends of India, Mr Nelson Mandela, by observing a one minute silence in his respect at the beginning of the program. This was followed by a beautiful rendition of “Vande Mataram” by renowned vocalist Smitha Prahalad – which had the entire audience stand up and sing with her.


One of the best known faces of Indian community in Houston, Ramesh Bhutada, was the first speaker of the day. The renowned businessman and philanthropist said “India was a promising growth story a few years ago but poor governance, corruption and misrule of Congress led UPA governments have brought the country to a standstill. The drubbing Congress got in Rajasthan showed that Sonia Gandhi’s attempt to buy votes with free handouts to poor was summarily rejected by the electorate. The real development model of Gujarat under the stewardship of Narendra Modi is what India needs. India needs strong, honest, visionary and decisive leadership of Modi” he said and urged the audience to phone relatives and friends in India to register to vote and back Modi’s candidacy.


The meeting was organized by Global Indians for Bharat Vikas (GIBV) and the Overseas Friends of the BJP (OFBJP) as part of their Mission 2014 initiative. You can visit www.gibv.org for further details.

Gitesh Desai of OFBJP said the BJP’s victory in 407 of the 589 contests in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, could translate into 65 of 72 Parliamentary seats in the general election. This, in turn, could help the BJP get 272 on its own. Desai, whose political activism started when he joined Jayaprakash Narayan’s Navnirman movement in Gujarat in the mid-1970s, urged the audience to travel to India in next year’s general election to work for the voter drive.


Shekhar Agrawal of Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth said Swamiji, as Modi’s biggest backer, had set up the Bharat Swabhiman Trust in 2008 and had been constantly raising his voice against corruption and black money. Agrawal said 2014 will be a great opportunity to overthrow a dictatorial dynasty and urged everyone to give a boost to Modi.

Gita Bhatia of the Overseas Volunteer for a Better India (OVBI), an Art of Living initiative, described OVBI’s efforts to educate and motivate Indian citizens to vote. She said OVBI had developed an app that enables one to register as a voter by phone. Details can be found at www.overseasvbi.com.

Endorsing Modi’s PM candidature, Col. Raj Bhalla (Retd), former president of India Culture Center, said he had written to President George W Bush on the injustice in denying a U.S. visa to Narendra Modi in 2005. He asked Bush how someone who has a lawsuit against him in a local court could be denied a visa. How would it be, he asked Bush, if India denied a visa to former House speaker Tom DeLay because of the lawsuit against him.

Another prominent community leader, Ramesh Shah, who has been visiting India to work for the BJP in every election in the past 18 years, said that in his travels from Assam to Kanyakumari, he could see the misery in India’s hinterland where vast numbers of people have been left out of the development because of lack of sanitation, access to safe drinking water, education, electricity and good roads. He said it was critical to campaign aggressively on the phone from here. Volunteers would be given lists of phone numbers, he said. He urged all Indian passport holders to register to vote so they can cast their votes from overseas.

Modi was a clear factor in the victory, said Sunanda Vashisht of the GIBV’s media relations team. Modi campaigned in 20 constituencies of Rajasthan and the BJP won in 16 of them. Rahul Gandhi campaigned in eight and Congress won in none of them, she pointed out. Aadit Kapadia, emcee of the event, urged Indian passport holders to register to vote because there was likelihood of refugees being drafted as a voter in the name of an absentee NRI.

The gathering was shown a medley of Modi speeches and the inspired attendees took a pledge to working for the BJP victory in 2014 elections.