• Saturday, May 18, 2024

Diaspora

Supporters of Modi’s BJP in Israel meet to encourage voters in India to back PM

The gathering was led by the Pravasi Bharatiya Award winner Reena Pushkarna who discussed how India’s foreign policy in the Modi era has brought India and Israel closer. 

Members of the Overseas Friends of BJP in Israel at a meeting, in Israel, on April 16, 2024. (PTI Photo)

By: Twinkle Roy

AN overseas association of followers of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Israel recently met in Jerusalem to mobilise support for the Hindu nationalist party, ahead of the general elections beginning on Friday (19).

To discuss strategies to bolster the prospects of the BJP led by prime minister Narendra Modi in the elections, some 80 members of the Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) in Israel gathered at Tandoori, an Indian restaurant of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award winner and chef Reena Pushkarna in Herzliya, an affluent coastal town in northern Israel on Tuesday (16) evening. The award is presented by the Indian government to the Indian diaspora recognising their contribution and achievements. 

Read: First phase of India polls tomorrow: 102 constituencies, 166 million voters

The members chanted slogans such as ‘Vande Maatram’, ‘Abkee Baar 400 Paar’ (Next time, we will get more than 400 seats), ‘Fir Ek Baar Modi Sarkar’ (Modi government once again) and ‘Jai Shree Ram’ in unison during the meeting and pledged to encourage their near and dear ones in India to cast their ballots in favour of the BJP to help it achieve the goal of achieving a tally of 400-plus seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha or popularly elected Lower House of the parliament. 

The audience at the gathering was made aware of breakthroughs achieved under the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government in India in the last 10 years, including the repeal of Article 370, the construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, the Statue of Unity in the western state of Gujarat and the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Read: In India’s strife-torn Manipur, fear eclipses election fervour

Oren Benjamin, an enthusiastic member of OFBJP, started off the event by asking everyone present to observe two minutes of silence in the memory of common people and soldiers killed during the terror attack on Israel by Palestinian militant group Hamas on October 7 last year.

He also shared with members the information about several new schemes that the Modi government plans to take up under a probable third term.

Pushkarna, who is also the chairperson of the OFBJP in Israel, was congratulated for her Pravasi Bharatiya Award and decades of service in strengthening and nurturing Indo-Israel ties even as she outlined the achievements of India’s foreign policy under the Modi government with emphasis on its strengthening ties with Israel.

The OFBJP has planned to hold a rally after the Passover holiday next week, Pushkarna told news agency Press Trust of India. Passover is one of the three traditional pilgrimage festivals in Israel.

Campaign for the first phase of the election to be held on Friday (19) came to an end on Wednesday (17). More than 100 constituencies across 21 states and Union Territories of India will vote in this phase that has 1,625 candidates in fray and more than 166 million voters. 

The seven-phase election will conclude on June 1 and the results will be announced on June 4.

(with PTI inputs)

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