Modi, who had coolly ignored the Wharton snub, might have embarrassed its organisors after accepting another invitation following which he would address US-based members of the Overseas Friends of BJP.
This means that instead of conveying his views to members of a small student body, the Gujarat CM will be interacting with a much larger audience. A statement released by the organisers, the Overseas Friends of BJP, said that the Community Outreach Programme will begin at 7:00 pm Central Time in Chicago and 8:00 pm Eastern Time in New Jersey on March 10.
"Shri Narendra Modi will address the gatherings in both the places simultaneously via videoconference. A large number of NRIs are expected to attend the Community Outreach Programmes in both the places. In addition, the event will be watched live across USA and Canada on TV Asia," the Overseas Friends of BJP noted.
"Shri Modi is the 4th term Chief Minister of Gujarat...he is the most popular leader of India decisive, visionary and fearless. He has provided all-round development of Gujarat and received acclaims from national and international community," the statement said, adding that the Gujarat CM's good governance initiatives are becoming a study of emulation for other states and countries across the world.
Earlier the organisors of Wharton India Economic Forum had invited Modi to give a keynote speech. However, later they uninvited him following the opposition by three Indo-American professors from the University of Pennsylvania. The anti-Modi professors reported to have gathered over 200 signatures to stop the event.
Ania Loomba, the Catherine Bryson Professor of English and one of the three anti-Modi professors, was quoted as saying, "We cannot give platforms to people who have violated so many human rights while being in power."
"It's shocking that Indian students at Wharton feel that someone who is one of the most controversial figures in India should be invited to celebrate India's ‘development' and economic success," she added.