Anticipating a majority for the Narendra Modi-led NDA coalition on Friday, excited supporters — most of them young professionals — have planned a series of events in various towns to collectively watch the election results on Indian TV channels available in London.
Nachiket Joshi, BJP national executive council member who organised several Modi-related events in London and elsewhere, told HT that the main event today will be in Ealing, which has a large population of Indian origin. Plans include a ‘victory walk’ in Wembley, fireworks and distributing large quantities of Indian sweets.
The Overseas Friends of BJP has organised collective TV viewing events today at London, Leicester, Coventry and Cardiff.
Modi supporters have so far held a series of events on the streets of London, including ‘chai pe charcha’ and prayer meetings in gurdwaras, synagogues, temples and churches.
Joshi and his group of young professionals had even set up a call centre in London calling up voters in India to encourage them to vote in BJP’s favour. Modi-related events in the UK have been aided by the presence of a large Gujarati diaspora (accounting for 45% of Indians in London).
Mohammad Sabat, chairman of the Leicester-based Indian Muslim Association (comprising mostly Gujarati Muslims), told HT that the prospect of Modi as PM was "very welcome".
Sabat, who has raised funds and donated for welfare work in his village near Bharuch, said: “There is some hesitation among Gujarati Muslims, but he (Modi) has promised to work for all Indians. We are real Indians, what do we have to do with Pakistan?"
Sharad Parikh, chairman of National Congress of Gujarati Organisations (NCGO), said: “India lost its way over the last decade with runaway inflation, decline in growth and corruption becoming a way of life in the government. Modi in the hot seat will replicate what he did for Gujarat. We know he can perform and deliver his promises and be quick about it".