(Pictured on the cover is Shaizad Chatriwala, a Muslim, reportedly stabbed by Kulkarni, at the behest of Hindutva supporters)
Missouri City was the first town in Fort Bend County, Texas, to use natural gas in 1919. In 1950, People in Houston called it a bedroom suburb community. Six years later, what began as a small settlement more than 55 years earlier became an incorporated City. It now has a population of 80,000. Its City Council has seven members.
In 2019, a Muslim candidate Shaizad Chatriwala, an engineer by profession and a long-time resident of Texas, decided to run for the Missouri City Council for Dist. C. He was confident of support from the residents of the district he wanted to represent. People knew him for his public work, as he was active in several community projects. Moreover, through his participation in the 2018 Congressional election, he became a known activist through his involvement in Sri Preston Kulkarni's campaign. Kulkarni could not win the race. In 2019, Shaizad informed Kulkarni of his decision to run for the Council. He was sure that Kulkarni would support him and help him mobilize his 2018 voters in the City for getting him elected.
However, he got the shock of his life when Kulkarni decided to field a Nigerian-American Steve Okoroha to run against Chatriwala. Steve, who physically resided at the time in another district in Richmond, Tx, changed his TDL address to his mother's home address in Missouri City dist, just a few months before filing his nomination for the position. He lied and violated the code of ethics being an attorney himself.
Chatriwala and his local supporters were upset. They questioned Kulkarni's decision after giving Chatriwala the indications of his support. They accused him of betrayal. Sensing the voter's anger in Missouri City and keeping the upcoming 2020 Congressional race in his mind, he tried to mend relations with Chatriwala after his defeat in the election. But by that time, Chatriwala supporters had learned that Kulkarni's decision to stab Chatriwala due to his allegiance to the vested interest of specific financial donors for his campaign and he could care less about anyone, except himself.
One of Chatriwala supporters published a statement by Shaizad Chatriwala, which said: "I read your post about Sri Kulkarni in your FB post. He is a typical politician who has an agenda for himself; I do not buy any of his stories. I worked hard for Kulkarni in 2018. He stabbed me in the back by putting a Nigerian American candidate against me, whom he called my candidate. When I confronted him, he told me: "I am building a vote bank for myself."
On election day, Kulkarni sent messages to Missouri Dist. C residents. It was his txt. during my election. ‘Hi ****! This is Sri Preston Kulkarni, your Democratic nominee for US Congress from 2018. Please vote for Steve Okoroha for Missouri City District C before 7 pm tonight. Thank you!'
Later, Kulkarni tried to reconcile with Chatriwala and sent him a txt.msg. Fearing that he might lose his support among his supporters in the next election, the message was full of ten grammatical mistakes by a former US diplomat read:
"I saw what you wrote Shaizad. It's disappointing and not true but what can i say. To each his own I guess....
I did not put up Steve to run in that seat. I told you plainly that I had encouraged him earlier to run for SOMETHING.
I didn't do anything that whole campaign. On the last day, when I was asking for help from the Nigerian community for Eliz's race, they asked me to send out some text messages on his behalf, which is only fair.
It didn't result in anything. (Both of you together still wouldn't have won). But in the future, we do need to have stronger coalitions between Hindus Muslims and Africans if we are going to win in Fort Bend.
I'm sorry you are angry but I didn't ever backstab you or change that election at all. I'm truly sorry that you think I did.
I'm trying very hard to build coalitions and will continue to do so..."
The whole episode gives a glimpse of Kulkarni's work ethics. To build a vote bank, he can go to any extent and deceive people, a tactic the Hindu nationalists have applied in India and the US. It was this game that Krishnamurthy played in Chicago when he offered himself to Muslims as their well-wisher, but after the victory, he turned 180 degrees and stood with Hindu nationalist leaders when he visited the USA a few years ago.
Kulkarni is no different. Some of his Muslim supporters trust him and view him as a progressive candidate. But his episode with Chatriwala suggests that he is not a trustworthy person. To serve his Hindutva voters, he can betray anyone. The voters of TX-22 must keep this in mind when they decide to choose their representative on Nov 3, 2020.
The voters must realize that Hindutva is a nefarious ideology that only hatred in its action. Kulkarni is an untrustworthy manA poisonous snake will always bite, no matter how much cow milk you offer it.