» Election » 'Tharoor's victory is Indian-Americans' triumph too'

'Tharoor's victory is Indian-Americans' triumph too'

By Geroge Jospeh in New York
May 16, 2009 23:51 IST
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The election results have taken the NRIs by surprise. Neither the supporters of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance nor the supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party led National Democratic Alliance expected such a turnaround.

Most people expected that no front would reach a decisive number and feared a horse- trading. The results were more of a disappointment for the supporters of the BJP as they have a larger presence than the Congress supporters in the United States.

"The people of India showed their maturity and wisdom. This is a vote for social harmony, development and stability," Dr Surinder Malhotra, president of the Indian National Overseas Congress and George Abraham, the general secretary, said.

Both went to India to join the campaign. Abraham worked for triumphant Congress Shashi Tharoor, who won with more than 80,000 votes in the Kerala capital of Thirivanathapuram.

Malhotra campaigned in Punjab and Delhi for two weeks. "It is a magnificent victory for the UPA. The people decisively rejected the communal politics. The defeat of the Left parties in Kerala and West Bengal shows that people are against the anti-development policies of the Communists," Abraham noted.

"The victory of people like Tharoor will bring more integrity and decency in Indian politics. His victory is the victory of the Indian-Americans too," Abraham, who worked in the United Nations along with Tharoor, commented.

"We are holding a victory party on Sunday in New York," Malhotra said. He said he had expected a big win for the Congress. "The people have expressed their faith in the good work of Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi. The selfless hard work of Rahul Gandhi too attracted the people. The verdict is loud and clear," he said.

Malhotra said the UPA government will continue the NRI-friendly policies. "The prime minister always praised the Indians and their work to promote India. He was very much appreciative of our community's work to pass the nuclear deal with the US," he said.

He said the Obama administration has not developed cold feet about the nuclear deal. They are all rumours. Both countries need better relations with each other, he said.

"People are more concerned about bread and butter issues than building temples or destroying masjids. It is a verdict for secularism and stability," Malhotra said.

Kirit Patel, a leader of the Overseas Friends of BJP led by Suresh Jani said he is disappointed at the verdicts. "We expected more than 200 seats for the NDA, which did not happen. We are not sure why it happened. We worked very hard," Patel, who campaigned in Gujarat and Delhi, said.

Currently most supporters of the BJP in the US are a bit shocked by the results and none has anything to say, he said.

"The NRI community in the US always sided with the NDA. The more educated sections of India too support the NDA. But the UPA could get much support in the rural areas. Moreover, their propaganda on development might have also helped them." Patel said.

"The results show that the people of India accepts the leadership of level headed people who can ensure secularism and take India to the top of the world," Alex Vilanilam, a leader of the World Malayalee Council said.

"The People of India exercised their power to defeat the negative forces that slows India's progress. We NRIS are proud of our brothers and sisters in India who have showed the whole world how a real democracy can work well in any adverse situations," he said.

Dan Mohan, global chairman of the World Malayalee Council campaigned for Tharoor.

John Abraham, former mayor of Teaneck in New Jersey welcomed the verdict. "It brings more glory to India and the democratic process,' he said.

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Geroge Jospeh in New York

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