Will Joe Biden win Indian-Americans in his favour?
The US Democratic Presidential candidate is trying his best to win over sizable Indian-Americans in his favour by making six Indian diaspora members as part of his core team
To lure Indian-Americans away from Republicans, who largely favour incumbent President Donald Trump, Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden has started reaching out to the Indian diaspora who accounts for over 4 million population in the US.
He announced making Kamla Devi Harris his running mate. By this move, Joe Biden has tried to outsmart his Republican rival Trump. But Kamla Devi has a record of speaking against India’s interests. Her stand on Article 370 and human rights situation would not bode well for the Democratic camp. She had also boycotted the Howdy Mody event held in Texas, last year.
Besides, Joe Biden has selected six Indian-Americans as part of his core campaign team,which includes Seema Sadanandan, a former flatmate of Biden’s daughter. She has been involved with the former Vice President’s social work. During President Barack Obama’s first tenure, she had spoken about police reforms. A graduate of the American University’s Washington College of Law and Tulane University, Seema Sadanandan is a lawyer by profession.
Another Indian-American selected by Joe Biden is Sonal Shah who had described herself as a ‘proud’ Vishwa Hindu Parishad member. However, when she joined the Obama administration in 2009, she backed down from VHP and condemned the 2002 Gujarat riots. A debatable issue: How selection of such Indian-Americans would influence millions of Indian diaspora in the forthcoming presidential election in the US.
Then there is Nisha Biswal, who during Obama’s administration became the president of the US-India Business Council. Biswal was honoured by the Modi-government with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman. She has been deeply involved with policy matters involving India and is aware of all the pressure points and red lines.
The three other Democrat Indian Americans are Richard Varma, who has served as the US ambassador to India for three years. In early 2016, he had crossed red lines and described some JNU students’ anti-India speech as part of “free speech.” Other two-Jake Sullivan and Tony Bliken were members of the Barack Obama administration.
In the backdrop of Joe Biden’s controversial remarks on Kashmir, CAA and NRC and his team members’ past anti-India stances, how Indian-Americans will behave during the presidential election in the US is a million dollar question.