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BJP, Cong launch Lok Sabha polls campaign in UK with rival car rallies

Press Trust of India  |  London 

India's fever rolled into the UK on Saturday, with the overseas units of rivals and organising to garner support from the sizeable Indian diaspora in the country.

The Overseas Friends of (OFBJP), the BJP's overseas unit, flagged off its campaign with European racing champion Advait Deodhar being part of the rally, in which hundreds of cars took to the streets of London, Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester, and

The rival Congress' overseas unit, Indian Overseas (IOC) UK, launched its rally from west to cover Birmingham, and before assembling back in south-west

OFBJP said: "There are around 10,000 Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in the UK who are actively or passively participating in this world's biggest dance of democracy, the Indian 2019".

"The central message is consistent worldwide to support 'Team Modi' for a clean sweep in the elections. This rally marks the first major Team UK effort to spread the message among the Indian diaspora and get them involved in the campaign," he said.

The OFBJP rally, involving NAMO T-shirts and flags, was coordinated by several local party units.

The rally drove past the iconic monuments like Houses of Parliament and the as well as heavily Indian-populated areas of Wembley and Southall before gathering for an event expected to be attended by local British MPs such as and

The rally, headed by Kamalpreet Singh Dhaliwal, involved en-route plans for a large gathering in and then at the final meeting point in west London.

The group had hoped to get Party to address the event, but said the plans had to be changed once the announced the election dates last week.

"The theme of our campaign is to bring back Indian glory by bringing back the and to enthuse the Indian diaspora in the UK to influence their family members with this message to save Indian democracy," said

The rallies, which attracted hundreds of local volunteers and supporters from both the parties, are set to give way to other diaspora events as the election campaign builds up towards the first phase of polling on April 11.

As part of the so-called "NRI4NaMo" initiative around the world, triggered by the of the party's foreign policy wing Vijay Chauthaiwale, OFBJP UK has plans for a so-called "Run For Modi" and a Kavi Sammelan in early April besides ongoing

said its will be on "countering fake being circulated by Modi social media team" and the organisation also plans a series of gatherings, with hundreds of its volunteers set to travel to to join the grassroots campaign.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 16 2019. 20:30 IST