BJP, AAP supporters in US celebrate electoral success

NEW YORK: Ecstatic Indian-American supporters of the BJP and debutant Aam Aadmi Party held a series of victory rallies across the US, celebrating the success of their parties in the assembly polls in India.

BJP supporters on Sunday pledged to volunteer their time and resources for the 2014 general election in support of Narendra Modi, the party’s prime ministerial candidate.

The supporters held a series of victory celebrations across the US, in Houston, Long Island, Chicago, Jersey City and Tampa.

“The good governance of BJP chief ministers and Narendra Modi’s charisma worked in tandem for BJP’s victory,” said Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) president Chandrakant Patel, who participated in the election campaign in Chhattisgarh.

“Today we pledged to work to bring BJP to power and make Modi the next Prime Minister of India. The assembly election results shows that this is now possible,” said Vijay Pallod.

BJP supporters also launched a group to garner support for Modi called Overseas Friends of Narendra Modi (OFNAMO).

OFNAMO would help “bring BJP to power on its own strength,” American India Public Affairs Committee president Jagdish Sewhani told PTI.

OFNAMO would work to garner support across America for Modi as well as send volunteers to India during the elections next year to campaign for the BJP, he said.

Supporters and US analysts also hailed the stunning debut of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi polls.

“Aam Aadmi Party’s strong showing also signals the potential rise of a new kind of politics in urban India,” said Sadanand Dhume of the American Enterprise Institute.

“Indian politics will never be the same again. AAP’s dramatic success in the elections is a sign that given a choice the people of India are ready to embrace an alternative political party beyond the traditional choices of the Congress and BJP,” said Pran Kurup, a Bay Area entrepreneur.

Experts agreed that AAP’s electoral debut is historic. “The success of the Aam Aadmi Party, thought not unprecedented, is indeed historic,” said Milan Vaishnav from Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“It has broken the stranglehold the two national parties have over Delhi and has done so in a matter of months with an army of volunteers in the very centre of power in the country. It provides an effective model that the party will now try and export to other urban centres, sending a shiver up the spine of the established parties across India,” Vaishnav said.

The mainstream American media too has taken note of the rise of the AAP. Washington Post described it as an impressive debut while the Wall Street Journal said AAP far outstripped expectations.