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US: Kamala Harris a strong asset for Joe Biden, mood of Indian-Americans positive

News Agencies | Updated on: 13 August 2020, 13:05 IST

As Kamala Harris became the first female African-American and Indian-origin to be nominated as Vice President of the United States, Kumar Barve, an Indian-American, has said that the mood of the community is very positive and said the 55-year-old will be a strong asset for the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Barve, whose ancestors immigrated to the US in 1911 from Maharashtra, said that he looks forward to seeing Harris as the Vice President.

"It is extremely positive. Indian-Americans recognise her as an Indian origin person. This is all part of the long story of the US where immigrant communities come here, make the country stronger and take their turn in helping to govern the country," Barve, who is a leader in Maryland state politics, told ANI.

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"...I think she is a very good fit for the ticket and she is going to be a strong asset to Vice President Biden and hopefully, he will be successful in his efforts to become the next president of the US," he said.

Talking about his ancestral roots, Barve said that his family has been living in the US for more than 100 years.

"My parents came to this country in 1911 and they were from Nagpur. My father was born in Tarapur, which is north of Mumbai. Although we are 100 per cent Indian-origin, my family has been in this country for over 100 years," he explained.

"We are an immigrant nation. Nearly 100 per cent of the population of America, came here over the last 200 years or so. She is very much in keeping with the traditional view of how America is built as a nation, and I look forward to her as vice president," he said.

More than 1.3 million Indian-Americans are expected to vote in this year's election- and Harris is one of them. With nearly 200,000 in battleground states like Pennsylvania and 125,000 in Michigan the Indian American Vote matters. (Data credit- research firm CRW Strategy).

As a woman of Indian-American and African-American descent, Harris' heritage matters.

Experts and political commentators say that Harris' addition to the ticket might influence the election results in close states like Ohio and Pennsylvania because the Senator from California can pull the Indian American voters to the polls.

Harris is being endorsed by Indian-Americans for having a ripple effect on the many who were mere fence-sitters up until now.

"I am sure those Indian-Americans who have been sitting on the fence will now come in support. The ticket given to Harris by Biden is a proud moment for all of us Indians, and this will be a great thing for India," said Dr Suresh C Gupta, a practising physician and Indian-American, who has lived in Washington DC metropolitan area since 1968.

Harris' vice-presidential candidacy would be historic, not only for Black Americans but for millions of voters of Indian-American descent -- who are soon becoming the 'growing political force' in the upcoming elections in the US. "I usually gave a small amount to the presidential candidate, but this time I am going to all go out of my way to make sure that we Indian-Americans fund this campaign and fund it to a degree that we will be proud of that. And they (Democrats) will be very happy with our contributions," Gupta added.


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First published: 13 August 2020, 13:05 IST