Advani promises overseas Indians voting rights

Edison (New Jersey): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would grant voting rights to overseas Indian citizens when it came to power, senior party leader L.K. Advani told a gathering of the Indian American community here.

His remarks at a reception organized Tuesday by Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP), US, were greeted by a standing ovation by the assembled audience, including leaders of several Indian and ethnic community organizations, according to the organisers.

Visiting US after nine years as a member of the Indian delegation to the UN general assembly, Advani, who is accompanied by wife Kamla Advani and daughter Pratibha, was accorded a red carpet welcome by the community.

Addressing the gathering, Advani said while 9/11 stands as a significant date reminding one of the scourges of terrorism another 9/11 in year 1893 is significant for India because that day Swami Vivekananda addressed the world religious congregation in Chicago.

Reminiscing about his interaction with former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, he recalled her remarks that parliamentary democracy flourished in India as opposed to Pakistan because of its autonomous election commission and apolitical armed services.

Earlier, Advani was welcomed by OFBJP National Executive Committee President Jayesh Patel, President elect Chandrakant Patel and Senior Advisory Council Member Ram Rakshpal Sood.

Jayesh Patel sought support of the Indian American community for BJP in the next parliamentary elections. He said India is going through a critical phase with widespread corruption, high prices and low GDP.