The Nationalist Congress Party has launched a chapter in North America at a convention in New York, entering a territory where only big players like the Congress and BJP have operated in before.
However, unlike the non-profit nature of the overseas branches of the two other parties, the NCP's American venture is all business. It is named NCP North America Inc, and has been incorporated as a profit -making business in the US.
NCP President and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar formally launched the North American chapter. He was clear that the new outfit would be apolitical in nature. "Outside India, our total approach will be, 'We are Indians first'. Whatever problems the Indian community is facing, if they want a platform through NCP, we will provide it."Raj Sharma, a Long Island-based businessman, who operates a corporate limo service, heads the new chapter.
The launch event was held at a hotel at Times Square. Among those who attended the two-day event were Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal.
NCP North America's general secretary, Lal Dadlaney, said, "We are a business lobby. We will help businessmen who may not have political contacts in India, "navigate" the terrain there.