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'Howdy, Modi!' organised, funded by US-based volunteers, not party or government: BJP

The event was held in Houston, Texas on September 22 and about 50,000 people of Indian origin from across the US attended it.

PTI|
Oct 03, 2019, 10.00 PM IST
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ANI
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump during Howdy Modi in Houston.
NEW DELHI: The "Howdy, Modi!" event in the United States was neither organised by the BJP nor the government, but by volunteers who had also funded it, the saffron party's overseas affairs department head Vijay Chauthaiwale said on Thursday.

A key man behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi's outreach to the people of Indian origin across the globe, Chauthaiwale said the event in Houston was "attended by both Democrats and Republicans. Traditionally, the Indian diaspora has been supporting the Democrats, but we had clarified that the event would be bipartisan".

In addition to US President Donald Trump (a Republican), nine to ten democrats also attended the "Howdy, Modi!" event, he said.

The event was held in Houston, Texas on September 22 and about 50,000 people of Indian origin from across the US attended it.

Besides Modi, Trump also addressed the gathering.

Interacting with reporters here, Chauthaiwale said the event was organised by US-based Indian volunteers and neither the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nor the government was behind it.

"When we mobilise people for such events, the first message given to them is that it is not an Indian government's event or a BJP-RSS event. More than 80 per cent of the 50,000 people who attended the 'Howdy, Modi!' event were not even affiliated to the party," he said.

A big section of the volunteers also funded it, they wanted to remain anonymous and did not want anything in return, Chauthaiwale said, adding that he did not have any idea about the total expenditure of the event.

The huge crowd for an event of the prime minister in a foreign country definitely created goodwill for Indians across the globe, he said.

Replying to a question on the protesters outside the venue of the event, the BJP leader said most of them were Khalistanis and from Pakistan.
However, he added that there could have been some genuine protesters also and "we are not saying they are anti-India".

Responding to questions about Modi's "Abki Baar Trump Sarkar" remark at the event, Chauthaiwale said the prime minister was referring to the US president's speech at the Republican Hindu Coalition and not endorsing anyone.
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