As the crucial weeks-long general elections began in India, issues like sustained economic growth, national security and protection of democratic values are among key poll priorities for the Indian diaspora across the US as it galvanizes support for various political parties.
An Indian-American community group recently organised an election campaign kickoff event in upstate New York, voicing its support for the Bharatiya Janata Party and Narendra Modi in the 2019 elections. With slogans of ‘Abki bar 400 paar’, Modi supporters among the diaspora said they are confident that he will return to power for a second term.
American India Public Affairs Committee president Jagdish Sewhani said the 2019 general elections are very crucial for the future of India. “National security is a top priority of the BJP,” he said, adding that another term for Mr. Modi will ensure sustained economic growth and development in the country.
Members of the Indian-American community organised and participated in several programmes across the US, including a ‘Chowkidar March’ in New Jersey, car rallies in Washington and Virginia, which travelled 12 miles.
A ‘chai pe charcha’ was organised in New Jersey and other cities including Detroit, Pittsburg, Boston, Columbus, Cleveland, Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa, Houston, Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
Meanwhile, advocacy group ‘Coalition for the Defence of the Constitution and Democracy’ held a ‘Defence of Democracy’ rally in the city.
The rally was co-sponsored by other groups such as Alliance for a Democratic and Secular South Asia, Coalition for a Democratic India and Dalit Solidarity Forum (DSF) and Indian American Muslim Council.
“The BJP government has also been responsible for systematic erosion and weakening of democratic values and institutions,” the Coalition said in a statement.
It called for ensuring free and fair elections.
It also said that lynchings of Dalits and Muslims must be stopped and perpetrators be prosecuted.