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Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as his VP, Indian-American groups laud historic selection

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 12 August 2020, 9:17 IST

Indian-American groups across the United States have lauded the selection of Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris as the Vice Presidential candidate by Joe Biden, stating that it was a moment of pride and celebration for the whole community in America.

Democratic party presidential nominee Joe Biden named Harris as his Vice Presidential running mate, making history by choosing the first ever black woman to contend on a major party’s presidential ticket.

Kamala Harris, whose father is an African from Jamaica and mother an Indian, is at present the US Senator from California.

“What an electric moment for the Indian-American community! Indian-Americans are now truly a mainstream community in the national fabric,” M R Rangaswami, an Indian-American founder of Indiaspora, told news agency PTI.

“On a personal note, it’s great to have a woman on the ticket whose mother hails from my hometown of Chennai in India,” Rangaswami said.

Harris herself was a presidential aspirant till 2019 before she withdrew from the race due to dearth of popular support.

Welcoming the ruling, IMPACT, the top Indian-American advocacy group and PAC, stated that it will augment the fund for the campaign by 10 USD million.

“Kamala Harris’s story is the story of a changing, inclusive America. At a time of rapid change, she ties all our national threads together. The daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, Kamala Harris represents the future and promise of this country. Her candidacy is historic and inspiring, not only for Black Americans, but for millions of Asian American voters, the fastest growing voting bloc in the country,” IMPACT’s executive director Neil Makhija said.

“An estimated 1.3 million Indian-Americans are expected to vote in this year’s election, including nearly 200,000 in Pennsylvania and 125,000 in Michigan, both must-win battleground states. IMPACT is gearing up to raise USD 10 million to fight for inclusive democracy and candidates who share our values like Senator Harris,” Makhija added. He said she knows both the Black American and South Asian-American experiences well.

“Harris knows the Black American experience. She knows the South Asian American experience. She knows the immigrant experience. She knows the aspirational power of the American dream. She is the running mate for this moment,” Makhija had wrirtten in an op-ed titled Harris’ ability to mobilise voters and unite the country In 2016, 77 per cent of Indian Americans voted for Hillary Clinton, according to stats by the same research firm. “But Democrat support in 2020 is not assured,” he wrote. A recent survey conducted by Donald Trump supporter Al Mason claims that 50 per cent of Indian-American voters in main battle ground States are moving away from the opposition Democratic Party towards Trump.

IMPACT’s executive director Neil Makhija contended that Harris’ candidacy would be significant and encouraging not just for Black Americans, but also for South Asian voters like himself. Asian Americans, more widely, are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic people in the US, he said.

Ajay Jain Bhutoria, an entrepreneur from Silicon Valley stated that it is a great moment of pride and celebration for the Indo-American Community to have Kamala Harris as Vice Presidential Candidate with Joe Biden for President. “Joe Biden is running to restore the soul of the nation and unite the country to move us forward. Joe knows more about the importance of the vice presidency than just about anyone and he is confident that Harris will be the best partner for him to finally get the country back on track,” he said.

Also Read: Kamala Harris becomes first ever Indian-American to win US Senate seat



First published: 12 August 2020, 9:17 IST