THE BJP President Nitin Gadkari’s visit to Britain at the invitation of the UK unit of the Overseas Friends of BJP to address their first ever political convention in London turned out to be a high profile event.
The London Convention of the OFBJP at Romford, attended by nearly 1,000 delegates, including a large number of youth and women, drawn from different parts of the country, was a huge success in terms of introducing the BJP, its philosophy, policies and programmes, among the 1.6 million strong Indian-origin community in the UK.
The dedicated band of OFBJP workers managed everything from controlling traffic, parking, enrolling delegates to welcoming the participants in the traditional Indian style with the BJP scarves. Each delegate was provided with a kit containing the party literature. The delegates had come from far off places in UK besides London such as Manchester, Birmingham and Cardiff. Some had even flown from USA as well as European countries including Germany, Norway and France, etc.
The convention, addressed, besides Shri Gadkari, by the former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vsundhara Raje, President of the BJP women wing Smriti Irani, MP, Convenor and co-convenor of the OFBJP Vijay Jolly and Amit Thaker, helped in galvanising the local unit and will go a long way in expanding the OFBJP base across UK and Europe.
Shri Gadkari and his entourage had a very hectic schedule which included a visit to Southall Gurdwara.
Shri Vijay Jolly spoke in Punjabi much to the delight of all the Punjabi people present there. Shri Himmat Singh Sodhi who is the president of the committee then hosted a special breakfast for the delegation and spoke about the issues concerning the Sikh community.
The BJP President joined the karyakartas of the Sangh Parivar in UK over lunch at the Sangat Centre in Harrow. It was a very relaxed and warm atmosphere where most karyakartas met and spoke to Shri Gadkari on a one-to-one basis. Lunch was prepared by the karyakartas.
The Telangana Development Front organised a convention which was addressed by Shri Nitin Gadkari, Smt Smriti Irani Shri Vijay Jolly and Shri Amit Thaker.
The TDF conference was attended by over 400 delegates, most of them Telugu speaking from the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh.
Shri Anil Kumar and Shri Sriram Vedire introduced the issue of separate Telangana state and the BJP leaders extended wholehearted support to their demand.
A special reception was arranged in honour of Shri Gadkari and his delegation during the evening aarti at the Swaminarayan Temple.
The ethnic media gave an extensive coverage to the convention and termed Shri Gadkari’s visit as a landmark event.
The coalition government of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats, setting aside the protocol, arranged Shri Gadkari’s meeting with the foreign Secretary William Hague where the two leaders exchanged views on a wide range of bilateral issues and matters of common concern.
The British Foreign Secretary invited Indian companies to explore the tremendous investment potential in Britain and other European Union countries and agreed to intensify efforts to prepare favourable ground for them including exchange of information. in the field of green technologies and non-conventional energy sources like solar power, wind energy, bio-energy and bio-fuels, etc.
Shri Hague told Shri Gadkari that Britain and the European Union countries have the expertise and technologies in these fields and would be willing to share with India.
Shri Hague said Britain would like India to open the retail, insurance and banking sectors and offered enhanced British investments if New Delhi removed some of the trade barriers.
Outlining the BJP policy on opening of the retail and insurance sectors, Shri Gadkari said a debate on these issues was going in the economic policy forums of the party with a view to evolving a consensus on such sensitive matters.
Shri Gadkari said the NDA government laid the foundations for rapid growth in the country. But unfortunately, the current government has failed to control inflation and generate holistic growth, meaning that much of this good work is being squandered.
Shri Nitin Gadkari came out extremely well at all platforms and spoke eloquently on inclusive, speedy, and sustainable development, more about the world as a global village.
He took the full centre stage by focusing on good governance and sustainable development, reminding the British of the development-centric nature of the Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee’s NDA government.
Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and BJP women’s Wing President Smriti Irani, MP, highlighted the progressive nature of the BJP vis-a-vis women in key positions. Shri Rajesh Shah, Shri Vijay Jolly and Amit Thaker, convenor and co-convenor respectively of the Overseas Friends of BJP also expressed their views.