OCALA (TIP): With President Donald Trump trailing in the polls, an avid Indian American supporter has launched an ad campaign on 30 Indian channels, targeting the community which has emerged as a key constituency in 2020 presidential election.
Taking a cue from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign slogan, “Modi Hai to Mumkin Hai” (With Modi, it’s possible), “Trump Hai to Safe Hai” (With Trump, it’s safe) campaign highlights Trump’s support for India and his commitment to maintain law order and economic recovery among other topics.
“I saw that President Trump is wounded in the race. So, I’m spending my own money to support him,” Ocala, Florida,-based serial entrepreneur Digvijay “Danny” Gaekwad told the American Bazaar.
“In recent months, I have had opportunities to engage the president and Vice President Mike Pence in person,” he said. “I’m convinced that Trump is the right person to lead America and spearhead an economic recovery.”
“Indian American votes are going to be crucial in battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and Ohio,” said the Baroda, Gujarat, -born Gaekwad. “I believe Indian television channels are the best way to reach many of the first-generation voters from the community.”
Adapting another Modi slogan that the Trump campaign used in the 2016 election, a one-minute ad urges 1.8 million Indian American voters to get President Trump back into office again.
“Ek Bar Aur, Trump Sarkar!!!” (Once more, Trump government) ad has Gaekwad telling voters “Why Trump? Very easy. He is a friend of India. He has proved himself; he is a friend of India.”
Citing the issues of Kashmir and the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), he says, when the whole world was criticizing India and Modi, Trump never meddled in Indian affairs.
“We don’t want a president of America, who meddles in our world or tells us who is to be selected or elected or go and tell us what to do,” says Gaekwad. “We want a friend. When we need help, he helps us, when he needs help, we help them.”
“This time president Trump needs help from us,” says Gaekwad, urging Indian Americans to vote for him and get him elected to the White House.”
The ad ends with Gaekwad giving a double thumbs up and saying, “Ek Bar Aur Trump Sarkar” (Once more, Trump government).
A short 15-second ad simply plays a part of the President’s speech relating to the Indian Americans at Trump’s ‘Namaste Trump’ rally with Modi in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, during his India visit in February.
With visuals of Trump and Modi, the President is heard saying, “In America, we have come to know the splendor of Indian culture personally, through the 4 million Indian Americans living in the United States as our wonderful friends, colleagues, and neighbors. They are truly spectacular people.”
Another 30-second, “Why not Trump” ad has Gaekwad describing Trump as “a president who is willing to stop the looters and arsonists trying to take over our property which we built with a life time of hard work.”
Calling ‘defund the police’ as “the most nonsense idea I have ever heard in my life,” he thanks Florida governor Ron DeSantis and Trump “for stopping these looters and arsonists and please keep doing it.”
Gaekwad again urges the “Indian Americans, our community to vote for Trump. Trump Hai to Safe Hai (With Trump, It’s safe).
Other ads highlight Trump administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) and economic recovery.
A first-generation Indian American businessman, Gaekwad is the founder and CEO of NDS USA Information Technology, an IT firm, and Danny G Management that runs a chain of restaurants and hotels across Florida.
He is one of the largest Indian American GOP donors and bundlers in the nation, having donated and raised money for some of the top Republican leaders, including Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Rick Scott and former Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, besides a number of congressmen and local officials.
Last year, he helped DeSantis host the Diwali celebration at his official residence. It was the first time that the Festival of Lights was celebrated at the 114-year-old People’s House of Florida.
Gaekwad serves on several boards including, the University of Central Florida, Enterprise Florida, Inc., Visit Florida, Florida Chamber of Commerce, Marion County Visitor and Convention Bureau, Marion County Tourism Development Council, Marion County Planning and Zoning Commissioner, Space Florida, Independence National Bank, and Taylor, Bean & Whitaker.
Gaekwad lives in Ocala with his wife, Manisha Gaekwad, and two sons Karan Gaekwad and Kunal Gaekwad.