India out to make friends with and influence powerful local officials


India’s Ambassador to the United States has begun reaching out to elected officials in various big cities and states across the country to improve ties in view of their growing influence in U.S. national politics.

Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu has met with three leading mayors in the country in the past fortnight, according to a report by the Press Trust of India.

Late last month, the ambassador called on New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D), a centrist African-American and a law-enforcement officer for over 20 years who defeated the Progressive faction in the Democratic Party and takes a moderate line on law and order, opposing radical calls to defund the police machinery. The Progressives have been tough on India’s political climate and the growing climate of intolerance and public expression of hatred, particularly for Muslims.

Sandhu congratulated Adams on his election victory and thanked him for his support to the India-U.S. partnership and to Indians living in New York City. They also spoke of collaborating on key areas like affordable health care, renewable energy, new technology, education and knowledge, financial technologies, information technology and space research.

Elected representatives in large metropolises like New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago are enjoying increased influence and attention in U.S. domestic politics. Adams was in the national spotlight when President Joe Biden travelled to New York City to roll out his policies on law and order in his presence.

President Biden has also nominated Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as his ambassador to India. The nomination has to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.