The BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has found supporters away from India, as a group of US-based non-resident Indians (NRIs), who had raised funds for Barack Obama during the 2012 US presidential elections, have come to India to root for him.
A team of 650 NRI volunteers led by Bharat Barai under his 'Global Indians for Bharat Vikas' association, is currently in Gujarat to boost the 'Modi for PM' campaign. "Yes, I had raised funds for Barack Obama during the Presidential elections and now I have come here to support Narendra Modi," Barai, a doctor from Chicago, said.
Showing his email conversations with the US President and first lady Michelle Obama, he said, "Many NRIs in America want Modi to hold India's top post. Hence, we pledged to undertake this campaign."
Responding to a question, he said Modi has been raising issues of development and people should vote for him as he is an inspirational leader for the country. When asked about Modi's hardliner image, Barai said, "Others have been indulging in divisive politics, which is only limited to the appeasement of a particular community, while Modi only focuses on development."
Volunteers of Barai's 'Global Indians for Bharat Vikas' have also been canvassing in favour of BJP candidates in various Lok Sabha constituencies in other parts of the country. "Our volunteers are canvassing in Modi's support in various states, including Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Uttar-Pradesh and Bihar, though I have restricted myself to the Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat," Barai said. In Gujarat, they have campaigned in Bardoli, Kheda and Anand Lok Sabha constituencies.
When asked whether he found any similarities between Modi and Obama, Barai said, "'Country first' attitude is similar between the two leaders."
"This country has become a victim of terrorism, price rise, corruption and we urge people to vote for a candidate, who can combat all this and can improve their living standard. Therefore, casting a vote in favour of Modi means a voter is investing in his future," he added.
However, Barai denied any comment over USA's decision to deny visa to Narendra Modi in the year 2005.