Overseas BJP Friends: Excited, Jubilant and Somewhat Relieved


HOUSTON: Overseas Friends of Bharatiya Janata Party (OFBJP) karyakartas (volunteers) gathered for a spontaneous celebration of the BJP victories over lunch at a local Indian restaurant on a rainy Monday afternoon.

Most of these dedicated members were awake till the wee hours as counting of votes in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh unfolded. The fact that they could make it to the celebrations on a busy office day speaks volumes about their commitment to BJP.

Many senior members of the community addressed the assembly. In his opening remarks, Houston chapter coordinator Achalesh Amar provided a brief glimpse of the efforts put forth by the Houston community in this election. He applauded contributions of two well-know senior community members, Ramesh Shah and Sharad Amin, who are in Gujarat ,campaigning on the ground.

Noting that in Gujarat the vote percentage difference was close to 9% over the closest rival, yet the number of extra seats BJP won was just marginally higher, Amar urged the gathering to be extra vigilant about future poll strategies.

In Himachal Pradesh, even though the vote difference was close to 7% over the nearest rivals, BJP won more than twice the number of seats from the incumbent party.

Dr. Jayaram Guntapali spoke about the handicap BJP faced because of the 22 years of anti-incumbency sentiments and the efforts put in my ground level workers to overcome this and other issues to put in a spirited campaign.

Raghuveer Reddy drew the attention of BJP leadership towards Telangana and the opportunity there for BJP to emerge as a credible alternative.

Sangeeta Dua, the women and youth coordinator of Houston OFBJP chapter, stressed he need of attracting more youth and women to such celebrations so that they would get involved in political activities.

Dr Bimal Talati spoke about the need of BJP to work on the Ram Mandir and Article 370 issues immediately to retain its voter base.

There was a general consensus that the members would need to work extra hard for 2019 elections. The speeches were followed by a sumptuous lunch.