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NRIs, overseas diamond traders hail Modi win
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Coverage: Battle for Gujarat

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December 24, 2007 11:12 IST

The Indian-American Intellectuals Forum has congratulated Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] for leading the Bharatiya Janata Party to a thumping victory in Gujarat and said the assembly election result will give a boost to forces of nationalism.

"We believe that it is the vote for sincerity, integrity, peace, progress and prosperity of Gujarat and India. It is vote against pro-terrorist policies of the UPA-led government," said Forum's President Narain Kataria.

Modi's victory, he added, is also a slap on the face of anti-Hindu English media who have been maligning and vilifying Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

"This election will give boost to the forces of nationalism. It will pave the way for the demolition of UPA government which has been trying to increasingly divide Indian polity on the basis of caste and religion," he said in a statement.

The Indian Diamond Association in Israel, comprising mostly of businessmen from Gujarat, has welcomed Narendra Modi's victory in Gujarat assembly polls.

"We all wanted Modi to win and that's what has happened. We welcome his victory from the bottom of our heart and hope that he will be successful in his future plans," president of IDAI Ranjit Barmeja said.

About 30 Gujarati families engaged in diamond trade have been living in Israel since early 1980s, even before the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Israel.

"When Modiji was here in Israel we got an opportunity to meet him and what he said then about Gujarat and diamond trade were positive signals of things to come. We all had expressed support for his victory," Barmeja added.

Trade in diamonds still constitutes about 60 per cent of the total bilateral trade between India and Israel which is almost touching the USD 3 billion mark this year.

In view of the opportunity, the State Bank of India [Get Quote] opened a branch in the Israel Diamond Exchange early this year.

The contribution of Gujarati diamond traders in making Israel one of the major centres of world diamond trade was recently recognised by the IDE when it decided to celebrate the festival of Diwali in its compound to mark a new business year for the Indian trading community.

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