Election, Latest News, Politics

PM Modi’s South Africa visit: Diaspora may not be a play in Lok Sabha polls 

Domestic controversies and effective outreach by BJP’s political rivals have led to rising disillusionment with Modi.


Modi Visit South Africa : South Africa has a sizeable Indian diaspora, nearly 1.5 million strong comprising three per cent of that country’s population. But unlike his previous visit there in 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be addressing the Indian community when he visits South Africa from July 25-27.

Modi will be in Johannesburg for three days to attend the BRICS Summit, but not even one event has been planned where he addresses the Indian community. New Delhi fears a repeat in Johannesburg of the PM’s London visit in April that was marred by vociferous protests by sections of the Indian diaspora.

On his way to South Africa, Modi will be visiting Uganda on July 24 and is scheduled to address a gathering of the influential non-resident Indians there. The fight among the various Indian associations in Kampala has become ugly enough for 15 outfits threatening to boycott the event. Interventions from the Indian High Commissioner and BJP leaders in India haven’t helped.

Support from the Indian diaspora was a force multiplier for the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The rousing receptions Modi received from NRIs and people of Indian origin on his visits abroad had added to his charisma and international standing.

But increasingly, managing the diaspora has become a headache for the BJP. Domestic controversies over religious, caste and linguistic identities and effective outreach by the BJP’s political rivals has contributed to the diaspora’s increasing disillusionment with the PM.

There have been allegations of mismanagement of funds raised for Modi’s diaspora events, particularly in Canada, and grievances about the dominance of a particular linguistic group that has found easy access in the Modi government and Indian missions abroad, while businesspeople from other regions complain doors have been shut on them.

Story By BS

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