Ahead of the 2014 elections, the BJP has reached out to the Non-resident Indians (NRIs) to boost its chances in the electoral battle.
The party on Monday held a meeting of NRIs at its headquarters and wooed them with a promise of better facilities if voted to power. According to the party, a mechanism should be drawn up where even NRIs can vote in their respective embassies.
Though, the NRIs currently cannot vote, they contribute a lot to the elections either through hefty funds or even running online campaigns for the parties. Political parties woo NRIs to use their contacts back home for creating a favourable atmosphere during elections.
BJP president Rajnath Singh said that his party would create conditions to facilitate FDI by NRIs in the country. “You should cooperate in the formation of a BJP government and we will create conditions which will emake your contribution to the FDI in the country will go up to 35-40 per cent,” Singh said addressing a meeting of the ‘Overseas Friends of Bharatiya Janatha Party (OFBJP)’ on the eve of the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas.
“Chinese diaspora is the largest in the world followed by Indians. At one point of time, the contribution of Chinese diaspora to FDI in their country was over 80 percent…its still between 45-50 percent. But the contribution of Indian Diaspora to FDI is just between 10-15 percent,” the BJP president said. He added that if the party is voted to power not only would they increase the FDI component of the NRIs but even make the country a superpower within the next 10-15 years.
Explaining the economic vision of the party, the BJP chief said that his party after coming to power would boost the manufacturing sector and could float bonds which would allow NRIs to invest in this sector. He said that NRIs had heavily invested in the Resurgent India Bonds which had been floated by the Atal Behari Vajpayee government after the Pokharan nuclear tests in 1998.
Referring to the issue of voting, Singh said one of the problems that the NRI faced was that that it was not always easy for them to travel back to India with families to vote. “We feel that NRIs should also be allowed to cast their votes in the embassies abroad,” he added.
He said US government should have a relook at the Border Security Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernisation Act of 2013, as the visa fees had increased and Indian engineers were facing problems. He said the party fielded Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, as prime ministerial candidate as the state has become a model of governance in the country.