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Activists, groups launch anti-Modi campaign in US

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New York: A group of activists, organisations and some members of the Patel community have launched a campaign in the US against Prime Minister Narendra Modi who arrived in New York on Thursday.

The campaign in various shape and form primarily includes multiple levels of protests in both New York and San Jose where the Prime Minister would be travelling.

It also includes a massive campaign on social media and even a big billboard from the new “Modifail” campaign launched by Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA).

Describing itself as a coalition of progressive groups in the US, the AJA has put up a huge billboard on a freeway in Silicon Valley. The saffron-coloured billboard has a huge mugshot of the Prime Minister addressing a rally. “We stand against Modi’s regressive agenda,” the billboard in Milpitas says.

In a statement, AJA hoped that this series of billboards in the Bay Area will inform the American people that Modi’s upcoming “Silicon Valley PR tour is being used as an excuse to whitewash his dismal record” as Prime Minister.

AJA plans protests outside the SAP Center in San Jose on September 27, where Modi is scheduled to address to some 18,500 Indian-Americans.

New York-based Sikh for Justice has said it will hold similar protests before the United Nations here and also in front of the SAP Center in San Jose on September 27. It has also announced a reward of USD 10,000 to any one who asks questions to Modi and Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg during their upcoming Townhall meeting at Facebook HQ.

A section of the Patel community, who are agitated against police action in Gujarat, has said they would raise “black flags” against Modi in both New York and San Jose. US-based Human Rights Watch urged CEOs of American technology companies to tell the Indian leader that they will oppose any steps that erode free expression or privacy rights.

“While India presents significant business opportunities, CEOs should tell Modi that they will oppose any steps that erode free expression or privacy rights,” Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. During his stay in the US primarily in New York and Silicon Valley — Modi will meet the CEOs of top technology firms such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Adobe and Facebook.

The Patels-dominated Asian American Hotel Owners Association or AAHOA has welcomed the US visit of the Prime Minister, describing him as a leader who has a distinguished record of fostering economic development and innovation.

PTI