India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, tweeted his congratulations to the two new American leaders slated to occupy the White House soon after election results for the Presidential race were announced handing the victory to former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris.
Even as Republicans from President Donald Trump downwards, are contesting the validity of the November 3, 2020 results and taking court action, Prime Minister Modi in no uncertain terms, declared it a “spectacular victory”, joining a slew of world leaders who sent their good wishes to the President-elect and Vice President-elect.
“Congratulations @JoeBiden on your spectacular victory! As the VP, your contribution to strengthening Indo-US relations was critical and invaluable. I look forward to working closely together once again to take India-US relations to greater heights,” Modi tweeted on Nov. 7.
Modi’s words for Kamala Harris verged on the more emotional and appeared to carry more weight as he went somewhat further in his praise of the Indian-American whose ancestors hail from a village in Tamil Nadu and from Chennai.
“Heartiest congratulations Kamala Harris! Your success is pathbreaking, and a matter of immense pride not just for your chittis, but also for all Indian-Americans,” Modi tweeted, using the Tamil word (chittis) that Harris used in a speech to refer to her aunties.
“I am confident that the vibrant India-US ties will get even stronger with your support and leadership,” Modi went on to say in his tweet to Harris.
Within the U.S., numerous messages from leaders and organizations who supported the Biden-Harris ticket, aired their congratulations via emails and twitter.
There were also several Republican Indian-Americans who continued to question the results.
Not only did the top Democrats win the White House but numerous other Indian-Americans around the country, won their races up and down the ballot.
The incumbent ‘Samosa Caucus’ made up of the four lawmakers of Indian descent – Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington; Ami Bera and Ro Khanna, D-California; and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, came back easily.
Meanwhile, Rikin Mehta, Republican candidate vying for New Jersey Senator Cory Booker’s seat, was defeated though he made a good showing.
Indian-American Democrats suffered two major defeats. The effort to add another Indian-American to the House of Representative, did not bear fruit when Dr. Hiral Tipirneni lost her bid in Arizona against incumbent Republican David Shweikert. And with all eyes of the nation on the Senatorial race in Maine, Indian-American Sara Gideon, a Democrat, was not able to unseat incumbent Republican Susan Collins.
Tri-state & PA
Democratic candidates at the state level fared relatively well. Jenifer Rajkumar won her seat from the 38th District in Queens, NY to Albany, hands down. In New Jersey, results of Rupande Mehta’s bid for the State Senate seat from District 25 is awaited, as is that of Nina Ahmad for the Auditor General position in Pennsylvania. But Nikil Saval won his seat to the Pennsylvania State Senate from District 1, a first for any Indian American in many of these wins.
Apart from those in tristate, the Midwest also saw successes.
Republican candidate, Ohio State Rep. Niraj Antani, won his race for the State Senate; Nima Kulkarni in Kentucky for the State House; Padma Kuppa re-elected for the State House in Michigan from District 41 as was Ranjeev Puri from District 21; Amish Shah for the State House in Arizona from District 24; Vandana Slatter re-elected to the Washington State House from District 48.
Apart from those, victories, Judge Ravi Sandill was re-elected to Texas’ 127th District Court seat; Kesha Ram in Vermont won her seat to the State Senate; In North Carolina, State Sen. Jay Chaudhuri was re-elected from District 15.
Biden-Harris Transition Team
“Our nation is grappling with a pandemic, an economic crisis, powerful calls for racial justice, and the existential threat of climate change. … The team being assembled will meet these challenges on Day One and build us back better,” says the Biden-Harris Transition website, about priorities as several world leaders await policy reversals on several fronts.
Indian-American supporters of the Biden-Harris ticket expect to be represented in the team as it moves forward with an array of high-profile names, including those who served in top positions in the Obama Administration.
Announcements about the Biden-Harris Transition Team members trickled out slowly from a freshly launched website with the slogan used during the campaigns – buildbackbetter.com.
One of the first announcements about a COVID-19 Task Force already proves the heft this community has within the incoming administration because of their proven record. The Covid Task Force includes former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy as co-chair, and Dr. Atul Gawande, well-known surgeon and author from Brigham & Young Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Also, Biden has promised to have a diverse team from top-down to represent the face of America.