Meenakshi Iyer (IANS)–
Congressman Frank Pallone, who founded the Congressional Caucus on India in 1993, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US is another opportunity to appreciate Indian Americans and their contributions to the community.
“I am really looking forward to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington… Many years ago, I founded the India Caucus and we have seen a steady increase in activities between the US and India… shared values between the two countries like democracy, market economy,” Pallone said in a video message shared by the Indian Embassy in the US.
Pallone represents the 6th district in New Jersey, which boasts of over a million Asians with Indian-Americans making up the largest ethnic group.
Upendra Chivikula was the first Indian American elected to the New Jersey legislature in 2001 and since then, South Asians — forming 5 per cent of the population — have had electoral success throughout the state.
“The Indian American diaspora have continued to contribute to the improved relations between the US and India. All the things they do to help our community here in New Jersey and Middlesex… So this is another opportunity for us all to appreciate the India-US relationship, appreciate Indian Americans and how they contribute to the US,” Pallone said.
He hoped that Modi’s visit will continue the “upward trend where Indian and the US work together on defence, security, economy and culture”.
The Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, also known as the House India Caucus, was founded in 1993 by Pallone and Florida Congressman Bill McCollum in the House of Representatives.
From 1993-1998, Pallone served as the co-chair of the Caucus, which is committed to strengthening the relationship between the two largest democratic countries of the world.
Earlier this year, Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna and his Republican House colleague Mike Waltz were chosen as co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans in the 118th Congress.
Khanna became the second Indian American to be elected as co-chair of the Caucus after Congressman Ami Bera served as its co-chair during the 115th Congress in 2015-2016.
In the Senate, the Caucus was founded by Senator John Cornyn and Senator Hillary Clinton in 2004.
The bipartisan coalition is the largest country-specific caucus at the Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. that brings national attention to domestic and international issues that affect our economies and security.
Senator Mark R. Warner and Senator Cornyn serve as the current co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus.
Meenakshi Iyer (IANS)–