Washington, Nov 8: Indian-Americans, comprising about one per cent of the country’s population, appear to be on the cusp of making history as a record number of people from the community are likely to be elected in the general elections. If local polls and political pundits are to believe, Indian-Americans would have its representative in the US Senate, and that too a woman Kamala Harris, the two-term Attorney General of California. And she would be joined in House of Representatives (similar to Lok Sabha of the Indian Parliament) by Pramila Jayapal from Seattle. Both have Chennai connection and this is also their maiden effort to enter the Congress. Kamala’s mother was from Chennai and Pramila was born in Chennai.
In the run-up to the election, Pramila, 51, who is running on a progressive agenda, was endorsed by Senator Bernie sanders. Kamala, 51, has been described “fearless” by US President Barack Obama, who endorsed her a few months ago and recorded a commercial video which is currently being run in California. Obama has also endorsed Indian-American Raja Krishnamoorthi, 42, who is running to enter the House of Representatives from a suburb of Chicago.
Born in New Delhi in 1973, Krishnamoorthi’s parents are from Tamil Nadu, who migrated to the US when he was just three months old. Political pundits describe the eighth Congressional District of Illinois from where he is running as the safest Democratic seat in the country. This is Krishnamoorthi’s second effort to enter the US House of Representative so is Rohit ‘Ro’ Khanna, 40, who is pitted against his own party colleague and incumbent Mike Honda. Khanna, who had received more votes than Honda during the primaries, is being backed by the entire Silicon Valley tech industry.
Internal polls show, he is headed for a won, but Honda is considered to be a formidable competitor in the 17th Congressional District of California. Ami Bera, 51, the third-ever and the only Indian-American in the current Congress, is in a tough fight against Republican Scott Jones from the seventh Congressional District of California. Seeking his third term in the House of Representatives, Bera’s chances brightened after he was endorsed by Obama and top newspapers including Sacramento Bee. Bera, who had accompanied Obama to his India visit in January last year, is also the Co-Chair of the Congressional India Caucus and has played a key role in India US relationship. In a recent interview, Gujarat-origin Bera exuded confidence of having other Indian American colleagues in the Congress.