By Ashok Kumar,
Sydney, 31 May, 2017
Dr Sambit Patra, one of the national spokespersons of BJP, is visiting Australia in mid June to celebrate the third anniversary of the Modi Government. His Sydney visit is on 18th June. Dr Patra is a surgeon by profession and is an erudite speaker, with an excellent command on facts and diction.
In the email sent out to people including myself, the OFBJP Australia claims “We would like to thank you for being part of OFBJP Australia family.” There is a problem here. OFBJP Australia was never set up as an inclusive group. They included only a few members of Hindu Council and excluded several keen and strong supporters of BJP and Mr Narendra Modi. It is a closed shop run by Mr Balesh Singh and his cronies.
The saga of Kushagra Bhatnagar is still fresh in people’s mind. It may be recalled that after declaring himself bankrupt in Queensland, Bhatnagar moved to Melbourne and was made the OFBJP Victoria president, ignoring that such position for a bankrupt person is neither legal nor right nor appropriate. The only reason he was made OFBJP Victoria President was his proximity to Balesh. People’s concern about Bhatnagar was not the work of “Breaking India” forces as claimed by OFBJP Australia and Balesh, but it was about the concerns in regards to probity in public life. It is all about Balesh supporting his cronies. Further info https://tinyurl.com/y7l28avg
Balesh continues to head the OFBJP Australia since its inception in September 2013, with no idea when they held their AGM and had fresh elections. It is worth pointing out that OFBJP Australia is a registered association with NSW Fair Trading Department, and follows model constitution of Fair Trading department. Such associations can not have same leaders all the time. Balesh and his cronies have converted OFBJP Australia into a pocket association. Not only this, OFBJP Australia convenor, Rahul Jethi, was caught attending a welcome dinner for ex-ISI Chief earlier last year and complaints to BJP led to sacking of Jethi from his position. Further info https://tinyurl.com/ya2wlt6r
People still have concerns about the platform, Indian Australian Community Foundation (IACF) which Balesh and others formed for the welcome event of Prime Minister Modi in November 2014. Community associations had no option but to join IACF if they wanted to have tickets to attend the Modi event. It was publicly promised that IACF would be disbanded immediately after Prime Minister’s visit. This did not happen. Balesh and Dr Agar, as IACF leaders, went to India to meet Prime Minister in March 2015. Community doesn’t know how much money was raised and spent for the Modi event in November, 2014. IACF has continued to refuse to answer questions on these matters. Further info https://tinyurl.com/y9tve7ar
The IST has been contacted by some members of the community, who are concerned about Dr Patra’s visit to Australia being used as a mechanism to make money by OFBJP Australia. They feel it would be better if Dr Patra’s meeting is arranged in a manner which doesn’t cost $80 per person. Tea or Coffee with finger food would be sufficient. This will allow people, who can’t afford this high fees, to meet and hear Dr Patra and exchange views. They also wonder about the funding of Dr Patra’s Australian tour from BJP, because he is after all coming on behalf of BJP.
Many feel that OFBJP Australia should open itself, hold elections and involve others who are no less supporters of BJP and Mr Modi, but are excluded by Balesh and his cronies, many of whom are not known as the effective or popular figures in Indian Australian community. Balesh and his cronies are not the only BJP supporters. It is about time that BJP HQ take remedial actions to stop harm to the BJP and the Modi Brand.
Will the good Doctor (Dr Patra) do something including the necessary surgery to cure OFBJP Australia of its chronic ailments is the question which many in the community are asking.