(Image source from: forbes.com)
A day after White House announced that President Donald Trump will attend ‘Howdy Modi’ event, a senior Indian National Congress leader said the decision to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi at major diaspora event is an attempt to woo Indian origin voters ahead of 2020 presidential elections.
Rajeev Shukla said it’s good that Trump will be taking part in the event which will see the presence of a large number of Indians. It will be a good chance for Trump to Interact with Indians who are supposed to vote in the presidential elections next year.
Over 50,000 Indian Americans have registered for ‘Howdy Modi Shared Dreams, Bright Futures’ event and many are still in waiting list which will be organized at the historic NRG Stadium in Houston on September 22.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said:
It (Modi-Trump joint rally) will be a great opportunity to emphasize the strong ties between the people of the United States and India, to reaffirm the strategic partnership between the world's oldest and largest democracies, and to discuss ways to deepen their energy and trade relationship.
In recent months, the trade tensions between the two countries after the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer canceled India's Generalized System of Preferences duty-free benefits and India hiked tariffs on 28 U.S. products.
The announcement of Trump attending ‘Howdy Modi!’ event raised hopes that trade differences between the two nations will be eased.
Kashish Parpiani, the fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, a think tank based in India, said that in the upcoming 2020 elections, the Democrats are reportedly stepping up efforts to flip Red states like Texas. Traditionally, Indian Americans have leaned to voting for the Democrats.
But as political polarization grips both India and the U.S., the Indian American base in there is faced with a realignment of sorts - towards the sort of nationalism championed by the Modi dispensation back home.
Indian nationals form a fifth of 20 million Asian Americans and also found to be more educated and earn more than other immigrant groups, according to the Washington-based Pew Research Center.
A 2014 Pew Research paper said about 65 percent of Indian Americans were Democrats or leaned toward the Democrats.
‘Howdy Modi!’ is Prime Minister’s first address with Indian diaspora after his re-election in May. However, this is not his first address in his tenure as Prime Minister. He earlier addressed Indians in New York, London, Sydney, and Toronto with rock-star welcomes
PM Modi's earlier outings to address Indians in New York, London, Sydney and Toronto have evoked rock-star welcomes, chanting crowds, and song-and-dance shows in sold-out stadiums.
By Sowmya Sangam