An Indian- American Ro Khanna elected as co-chair of India caucus
New York, (IANS) Congressman Ro Khanna, an Indian-American, will be the co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans in the 118th Congress.
Khanna, a Democrat who represents California’s 17th Congressional District, and Republican House colleague Mike Waltz will co-chair the Caucus.
“The Indian-American diaspora can play an important role in strengthening the US-India partnership. I believe this is a historic moment for our community. I believe we are truly emerging and coming into our own as a powerful voice “Khanna stated to NBC News.
The India Caucus is a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers founded in 1993 to improve relations between New Delhi and Washington.
Prior to Khanna, Congressman Ami Bera was the first Indian-American elected as co-chair of the Caucus during the 115th Congress in 2015-2016.
“I’m going to try to make it about not just India, but also the Indian-American community and highlighting their contributions,” Khanna told NBC News.
Indian-Americans are the second-largest immigrant group in the United States, with a population of around four million people.
As the community has grown, so has its social, economic, and political influence.
There are currently five Indian-Americans serving in the Congress, known as the “Samosa Caucus”: Ami Bera, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Pramila Jayapal, and Shri Thanedar.
Khanna’s appointment comes amidst reports that he might run for president in 2024.
According to Politico, his recent moves have sparked speculation among Democrats in several key states that the Congressman has his sights set on a higher office.
“If President Biden didn’t run for re-election, his name would have to be on the list of top contenders,” said Stacey Walker, founder of Iowa-based Sage Strategies.
Khanna, the son of Punjabi immigrants, is regarded as a leader of his party’s progressive wing and a relative newcomer on the scene with broad appeal and powerful skills.
He stated last month that the relationship between the two democracies could define the twenty-first century.
Khanna stated in November 2022 that the US needs a powerful defence and strategic partnership with India, particularly in the face of China’s escalating aggression.
He introduced a standalone bill in the US House of Representatives in September last year seeking a waiver for India from the punitive CAATSA sanctions.