Varanasi (UP), May 20 : As the Hindutva and pro-Narendra Modi spirit went ‘everywhere’, according to Exit Polls surveys, a bulk of the inspiration to vote for the ruling BJP also came from overseas Indians and neo-BJP Karyakartas.
With projection of a massive win for BJP and the Prime Minister both in Varanasi and the rest of India, Narendra Modi would certainly owe his glorious moments to relentless campaign by NRIs and faceless neo-Karyakartas from across India.
In an unprecedented manner, over 400 NRIs are estimated to have arrived the ancient temple city, flooded key political hubs in Uttar Pradesh and the rest of India plunging themselves into the heat and dust of electoral fray notwithstanding the Indian summer.
According to sources, they have come from about 20 countries - including the US, Australia, New Zealand, African nations, UAE (Dubai) and the UK and Canada.
“We owed it to ourselves,” said Gujarati IT professional from New Zealand Madhusudhanbhai Patel adding 50 other NRIs from different countries were camping in Varanasi to help BJP in the door to door campaign. Another important feature of 2019 parliamentary elections has been the high percentage of involvement of newly inducted BJP.
The Karyakartas and faceless workers from different parts of the country poured in Varanasi to campaign for Prime Minister.
“Mamata Banerjee in my home state has spoken a lot about UP youths campaigning in West Bengal. But here I am a Bengali and from rural Bengal campaigning in Varanasi for Mr Modi. We all want him return to power,” says Siuri-based Sukumar Sen Chowdhury, 25. In most cases, these youths did not carry BJP flags or banners. They generally resorted to raising ‘Namo Again’ and ‘Vande Mataram’ slogans walking into deep gullies distributing leaflets and the purpose seemed to have achieved.
In comparison of course Ajay Rai of Congress and Shalini Yadav of Samajwadi (a Mahagatbandhan candidate) had no match of manpower and the ingenious campaign strategy.
Varanasi polling on Sunday recorded a turnout of 57.81 percentage and in the run up to the polls one could interact with a large number of youth BJP workers from Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana and even north east campaigning for Mr Modi. Most of them said they were 'Modi fans' and also admired the ‘pro-Hindutva tilt and nationalistic agenda’ of the BJP especially in the context of Pakistan.
“Of course the Pulwama terror attack was in our mind, when we came,” says Joydeep Barua, a Jorhat-based first generation RSS cadre. “We stayed in Meghalaya and Manipur for long but once my family moved to Jorhat in Assam, I got in touch with RSS Shakhas and then as I work in Lucknow, I opted for campaigning in Varanasi,” he said. Barua also says that like him many youths from Assam and Manipur have visited Karnataka and Maharashtra during elections to campaign for BJP.
However, he hastens to add in most cases the enthusiasm was more as everyone wanted to be a party in the campaign to make Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister for next five years again. In fact, according to BJP sources in Varanasi and also in parts of south Bengal, several Gujarati youths had campaigned in Trinamool Congress-ruled state as well. “The election this year was not only on nationalistic agenda in netas speeches, it was seen as a national cause and therefore youth volunteers and BJP workers moved freely providing their services in door to door campaigning in Varanasi, Bengal and Odisha,” says a BJP leader from Gujarat.
Under the direct supervisions of BJP chief Amit Shah and well assisted by Union Minister J P Nadda, about 10 BJP leaders from Gujarat camped in Varanasi ensuring higher voter turnout and also that they all exercise their franchise in favour of PM Modi. Gujarat-based important party functionaries Sunil Oza, C R Patil, Jitu Vaghani (Gujarat BJP chief), Kamabhai Rathod and Prakash Gurjar camped in the temple city galvanizing support for the ‘Gujarat ka sher’.
In more ways than one, as per BJP and RSS support for poll management is concerned, the 2019 battle was different.
Even in states like West Bengal – confirmed Durgapur-based Amitava Banerjee – a lot many of them were ‘deputed’ to the BJP on the eve of elections. Among the volunteers were some women too.
In Varanasi, a die-hard US-based Anita Mehta dismissed Congress allegation of corruption on Rafale and termed it ‘non sensical’ charge.
“What is the basis of a charge when time and again, Rahul Gandhi has to go to Supreme Court and tender apology. In fact, BJP MP Meenakshi Lakhi deserves all credit for exposing Congress. Their entire allegation has only backfired,” she says.
Several BJP workers and sympathisers readily changed their Twitter Ids by prefixing the word ‘Chowkidar’ and said during election campaign that – “such an act have given them a sense of purpose vis-a-vis our commitment for motherland”. NRIs also confirmed that a large number of them were also associated directly or indirectly with the Overseas BJP. (UNI)