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Indian-Americans seek business-friendly leader

The community is three million strong

Washington: The three million-strong Indian-American community is believed to have swung the electoral fortunes of major U.S. presidential hopefuls, including Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, in the primaries of Super Tuesday.

For Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama, the community has not only played a crucial role in the run-up to the primaries both by way of physical and financial support but also with their huge concentrations in big and diverse states may have played even a “swing” role.

Indian-Americans are well dotted across the states of New York and New Jersey, the two major states going to Ms. Clinton; and Illinois, the home state of Mr. Obama, also has a large population of the community that has for the most part thrown its weight behind the son of the soil.

In California, especially where the Indian American community is present in large numbers, their voting impact has certainly helped Ms. Clinton get this huge state that offered as many as 441 delegates to the national convention.

Exit polls in California showed that Ms. Clinton did very poorly among the White and African American population but did spectacularly well with the Asian American community by a three-to-one margin and with the Hispanic community by a two-to-one margin.

In a statement, the US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) said:

“Today, the more than 3,00,000 Indian-Americans who live and work in Silicon Valley are focused on deciding who the most business-friendly candidate for President is.

Outsourcing

“The most business-friendly candidate here is a ‘free trader’ who believes that market forces are best and that outsourcing is not a ‘war against the [American] middle class’ as CNN commentator Lou Dobbs would have you believe.”

It said: “There has been little battling amongst the candidates over the issue of outsourcing in part due to much larger domestic issues. The leading presidential candidates going into Super Tuesday say they favour allowing the global economy dictate the flow of jobs and business.

“Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama seek to reopen the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to strengthen enforcement of labour and environmental standards. Governor Mitt Romney, arguably the most pro-business candidate of all the Republican contenders, has been very vocal on wanting to renegotiate liberalised trade with China to stop currency manipulation that gives Chinese products unfair advantage.

“Indian-Americans like all Asian-Americans are poised to make a historic impact on Super Tuesday,” said the USINPAC quoting Congressman Mike Honda, Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Member of the House India Caucus and the House Appropriations Committee.

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, hailed the role of the Indian American community not just in Georgia but throughout the South. — PTI

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