Saturday, September 19, 2015

Division in US Patidar ranks? A section of Patels declare they will "support" Modi visit in September-end

By Our Representative
In a fresh development, a section of the Patidar community living in the USA has declared its “wholehearted welcome” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his upcoming visit to the USA. Suggesting that the community is now intensely divided, the development comes less than 48 hours after a top community leader, Alpesh Patel, sought police permission for a rally against Modi near UN headquarters on September 25.
Following the rally in New York, where Modi will visit for the UN General Assembly's meeting, another rally has been planned on September 27 at the SAP Center in San Jose, another Modi stop on the trip. Alpesh Patel is coordinator of the Sardar Patel Group USA-Canada, and has already collecting social media support for his rally. He claims around 5,000 Patels will protest against Modi at the UN.
Opposing the decision to protest, Baldev Thakor, President of the Mayo Hotels, in a parallel statement has been quoted as saying that “as members of the overseas Patidar community, we condemn the exercise in political mud-slinging and we do not want to be a part of it.” Claiming to be a Patel leader, Thakor adds, “We wholeheartedly support Modi's initiatives to take the country to greater heights."
Thakor's group “believes that the agitations in India and now in US are politically motivated”, claiming, “These protests do not represent the voice of the entire Patidar (Patel) community. Another community leader, Danny Patel, President and CEO or PeachState Hospitality, has been quoted as saying that “We Patels in the US are not taking any sides. Our intention is to make everybody aware that not every Patidar is against Modi.”
“There are about 150,000 Patidars living in the United States and the people who support the rally against Prime Minister Modi at United Nations are a minuscule number who are misrepresenting the community”, the statement says, quoting yet another community leader, Ravi Patel of Sree Hotels as saying that “Modi is coming here to further a bigger vision that he holds for India and instead of supporting his vision some people are trying to thwart his vision for petty political gains which the majority of us feel is not right.”
Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister is visiting the United States between 23rd. and 28th. September. During his visit, he is expected to meet tech giants, entrepreneurs in the Bay area to promote the Digital India campaign and address a 20,000 strong Indo American community in San Jose, California. He is also expected to speak at the United Nations.
Patidar community in the US consists of the Leuva Patidar Samaj of USA, Charotar Patidar Samaj of USA, Kadwa Patidar Samaj of North America, and the Patel Samaj of Mehsana. The statement, significantly, has been posted on the social media by Paramita Bhatt, who has long been associated with the Art of Living outfit of spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar in the US.
The statement comes close on the heels of the Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) claiming that only a “minuscule group of Patels are opposing the US visit of Modi", refuting reports that about 1,000 Patels met in Edison, New Jersey, on September 9 and made a decision to boycott Modi's US programmes. "Only about 30-40 people met during that meeting," the OFBJP claimed.

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