indica News Bureau-
Tulsi Gabbard, Congresswoman from Hawaii and one of nearly two dozen candidates for the Democratic nomination for the presidential election next year, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York City last week during his weeklong visit to the United States.
She and Modi had a discussion on a wide range of issues, highlighting the importance of the long-standing relationship the US shares with India.
Later, in a statement, Rep Gabbard said, “Prime Minister Modi and I had a productive conversation about the importance of the US-India relationship. … We spoke about the need to continue to work together to address the pressing issues that impact us and the world—like combating climate change and protecting our environment, improving the economic well-being of our people, increasing trade, counterterrorism efforts, and preventing nuclear war and nuclear proliferation.”
She said they also discussed the situation in Jammu & Kashmir following the revocation of the state’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution of India, civil rights, empowering women and addressing poverty, besides the growing tensions with Iran.
“It is important that we continue to strengthen this partnership between our two nations that has long had support from both Democrat and Republican leaders,” Gabbard said. “As we work toward mutual prosperity for our people through economic growth, science, health, the environment, security, and more, we recognize that everyone on our planet, we are all one family. There is no place for hate, bigotry, ignorance and prejudice.”
Gabbard, who is serving her fourth term in the House of Representatives, is a former co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans. She now serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services committees.
She is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020 and the first female combat veteran and first Hindu to run for the job.
Gabbard’s run was the subject of a long cover story in Caravan magazine in July which revealed how the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS, ideological fountainhead of Prime Minister Modi’s BJP, was trying to gain a foothold in the US administration by boosting her campaign with large donations by prominent Indian Americans linked with the group.
Gabbard has promoted greater trade between Hawaii and India, leading the successful effort to formally create a sister-state relationship between Hawaii and the western Indian state of Goa.