Washington, Jun 27 (PTI) Veteran Congressman Joe Crowley, one of the best-known friends of India in the House of Representatives, has lost the Democratic party’s New York primary to a 28-year-old socialist, in one of the shocking upsets in recent American political history.
Crowley, 56, is currently powerful chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and was seen as a potential future House speaker.
The 10-term Congressman was one of the key members of the House Indian Caucus.
He was unseated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a socialist who is almost half his age and was a volunteer to Senator Bernie Sanders campaign.
Crowley congratulated Ocasio-Cortez on her victory. The young Democrat had challenged Crowley on the grounds that he had ties with special interests.
“It has been the honour of a lifetime to represent Queens and the Bronx. I am proud of the race we ran and, more importantly, proud of all of the work we’ve done to advance this community,” Crawley said in a statement.
President Donald Trump also commented on Crowley’s defeat to Ocasio-Cortez.
“Wow! Big Trump Hater Congressman Joe Crowley, who many expected was going to take Nancy Pelosi’s place, just LOST his primary election,” Trump tweeted.
“In other words, he’s out! That is a big one that nobody saw happening. Perhaps he should have been nicer, and more respectful, to his President!” he said.
As co-chairperson of the House Indian Caucus, Crowley was instrumental in starting Diwali celebrations at the US capitol.
He worked closely with the Indian-Americans to advance their cause, including advocating for including Sikhs in the US Army.
A strong advocate of India-US relationship, Crowley was considered as one of the best friends of India in the House of Representatives.
“The Trump administration is a threat to everything we stand for here in Queens and the Bronx, and if we don’t win back the House this November, we will lose the nation we love. This is why we must come together,” Crowley after his defeat.
“We will only be able to stop Donald Trump and the Republican Congress by working together, as a united Democratic Party,” he said.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Crowley had been an unwavering champion for America’s working families for almost two decades.
“To know Congressman Crowley is to know his fierce pride in representing Queens and the Bronx, and the joy and effectiveness he brought to serve as their voice in the Congress,” she said.
“As Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Joe Crowley brought principled, unifying and forward-looking leadership to the historic challenges of the Trump Administration.
“Our Caucus has been strengthened by his chairmanship, and by Chairman Crowley’s relentless determination to defend the inclusive America symbolised by the Statue of Liberty,” Pelosi said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.