Indian political parties in US wooing NRIs for fund and votes

Last Updated 23 March 2014, 15:37 IST

With the general elections just days away, Indian political parties are trying hard to woo NRIs in the US to raise funds and help canvass votes for them.

The most active among them is Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which recently launched a unique online platform that it expects to be a game changer in the upcoming general elections by tapping into popular support from inside and outside India.

Some 18,000 Indian Americans have volunteered for AAP's phone-o-programme to make calls to friends and families in India asking them to vote in favour of its candidates.

"The challenge is that we have so little time to mobilise. The good news is that it's a very dynamic environment filled with action packed frenzy of activity," Pran Kurup, spokesperson of AAP USA told PTI.

Observing that social media at the candidate level is still new, he said AAP US is trying to make sure every candidate has a Facebook page, twitter account and a description about themselves.

'NaMo Tea Party' and 'NaMo for PM yagna' are the two main events organised by the supporters of Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP.

The first of these NaMo Tea Party was held in California in February and then similar events were held in more than a dozen cities across the US including New York, Jersey City, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Tampa, Houston.

"NRIs are coming up with innovative strategies, such as sharing tea with strangers at Malls and metro stations to spread awareness and garner support for Narendra Modi, PM candidate of BJP," Anju Preet, a BJP supporter who is a scientist by profession, said.

Chandrakant Patel, president of the Overseas Friends of BJP-USA, said that they are organising "NaMo for PM yagna" at major temples across the country.

Prominent among them being in New York, New Jersey, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Tampa, he said.

Congress Party, which is facing anti-incumbency back home, has based the campaign on their accomplishments in last 10 years.

George Abraham, chairman Indian National Overseas Congress (I), USA said lack of communication, not achievements, is the biggest problem facing the party.

Lok Sabha elections will be held from April 7 to May 12 and the results will be declared on May 16.

(Published 23 March 2014, 14:43 IST)

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