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Hindu US Congress member Tulsi Gabbard to run for President

Hindu US Congress member Tulsi Gabbard to run for President

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 12 Jan 2019, 11:03 am

Washington, Jan 12 (IBNS): US Democratic lawmaker Tulsi Gabbard, who is the first Hindu member of the Congress and is considered close to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said she will run for the President next year, media reports said.

"I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week," the Hawaii Democrat told CNN.

Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, is currently serving the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Besides being a Hindu, she is also the first American Samoan to be a member of the Congress.

"There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision. There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I'm concerned about and that I want to help solve," she told CNN, listing health care access, criminal justice reform and climate change as key platform issues.

"There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace," Gabbard added. "I look forward to being able to get into this and to talk about it in depth when we make our announcement."

Tulsi and her relationship with Modi:

As per media reports, Tulsi shares a strong rapport with Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which runs the central government in India.

Gabbard was among the few to criticize the US government’s decision to deny a visa to Modi before he was Prime Minister, in the wake of accusations that his government in the state of Gujarat did not do enough to save Muslims during the horrific communal violence broke out in 2002. The Gujarat riots claimed more than 1,000 people, including close to 800 Muslims. Gabbard had called the no-visa decision a “great blunder", reported Quartz India.

The report further said that in November 2013, five months before Modi became the Prime Minister, Gabbard opposed a House resolution that called for “religious freedom and related human rights to be included in the United States-India Strategic Dialogue and for such issues to be raised directly with federal and state Indian government officials,” saying it would weaken the friendship between India and US.

In 2014, when Modi visited the US, he had met the US Congress member.

Tulsi had presented the Indian leader a copy of Bhagavad Gita that she swore by when she was elected, reports said.

The meeting took place after Modi's post-election speech at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

During a fundraising event for the BJP in the US in August 2014, Tulsi had said that Modi’s election victory in the Hindu-majority nation was only possible because “people stood up, one by one by one by one, and said we will demand that this change occurs.”

Image: Tulsi Gabbard Twitter page

Hindu US Congress member Tulsi Gabbard to run for President

India Blooms News Service
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