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Gujarati meet planned in US

india Updated: Jun 22, 2006 16:12 IST
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Yet another US-based Gujarati group plans to host a global meet of expatriates from the state in New Jersey in September, the organisers said on Wednesday.

The Association of Indian Americans of North America (AIANA) has organised the meet Sep 1-3 with the slogan "Chaalo Gujarat" aiming to provide a platform to Gujarati-speaking people to discuss business, education, cultural and social issues.

It also aims to provide networking opportunities for personal and community goals and growth.

"We have extended an invitation to leading politicians, including the prime minister, BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) leader LK Advani, (party) president Rajnath Singh, Gujarat ministers, sports personalities, businessmen and Bollywood stars," AIANA president Sunil Naik told reporters.

"We have invited them. Now it's up to them (to decide) who they send there as the state's representative," he said, when asked about the possibility of Chief Minister Narendra Modi getting a US visa to attend the function.

The US had earlier denied a visa to Modi for his alleged role in the Gujarat communal violence of 2002.

The organisers are expecting an attendance of nearly 30,000 people from across the world, mainly from the US, Canada and India.

The event, to be arranged at a cost of $2 million, is scheduled at Raritan Centre in Edison in New Jersey where a model Gujarati village will be fabricated. Participants will witness cultural programmes like folk dances, traditional story telling and rock music, said Naik.

The meet will be second of the same kind in the US in a span of two months. The Gujarati Association of North America (GANA) announced a similar three-day convention in New Jersey in July.

"Ours is the main organisation with a true representation of Gujaratis. There can be other small programmes as well by other groups," said Naik.

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