More Indian Americans may back Donald Trump after India tour

The bonhomie between the two leaders will certainly have a positive impact in the US among the Indian American community especially in states such as California, Illinois and New Jersey, which have large numbers of people of Indian origin, during ...

Agencies
One of the big takeaways from this presidential visit to India is reaching out to the Indian Americans in an election year, feel political observers.
In his speech at Ahmedabad’s Motera Stadium on Monday, US President Donald Trump mentioned the 4 million Indian Americans living in the United States as “our wonderful friends, colleagues, and neighbours….[who] enrich every aspect of our national life. They are titans of business; the biggest, the best pioneers of science; masters of the art; and innovation of technology like few people have been able to see…”

One of the big takeaways from this presidential visit to India is reaching out to the Indian Americans in an election year, feel political observers. “The 4 million Indian Americans are the most affluent minority group in the US with the highest per capita political donations. And increasingly the community is getting more engaged in every way in the political process in the US. In fact, there are 10 Indian Americans running for Congress this year,” says Dr Mukesh Aghi, president and CEO of the Washington DC based US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, an organisation working on strengthening US-India bilateral relations. He adds that President Trump, who has a larger number of Indian Americans in senior roles in his administration than any other president before him, will certainly be looking at wooing the community through his two-day India visit. Significantly, Ajit Pai, chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission and Kash Patel, special assistant to the US President and senior director for counter-terrorism; both of Indian origin; are part of the visiting Trump team in India.

Haribhai Patel, who runs an electronics exports firm in Chicago and is the president and vice chairman of the Republican Hindu Coalition, a political action committee, was at the Motera Stadium during the addresses by President Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and can be described as one of “the one in four Indian Americans who trace their roots to Gujarat” described by President Trump in his speech.


“I am here in Ahmedabad especially for the presidential visit and had the opportunity of meeting both the president and prime minister after the event and shaking their hands and joining a photo session. The bonhomie between the two leaders will certainly have a positive impact in the US among the Indian American community especially in states such as California, Illinois and New Jersey, which have large numbers of people of Indian origin, during the presidential elections later this year and there will be a larger number voting for the Republicans than the last time. Members and organisations of the community will also be raising funds for Republican candidates in the presidential and other elections,” he said.

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