Indian-American group campaign for Hillary Clinton; Claims she is 'a friend of India in the White House'

Washington: Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton's Indian-American supporters have launched a nation-wide group to back her bid for winning the party's presidential nomination.

Describes itself as a nationwide grassroots volunteer organisation, the Indian-Americans for Hillary (IAFH) group said on Monday that it will hold its inaugural event in Gaithersburg, Maryland in Washington DC on 24 April.

"It is important to mobilise support of millions of Indian Americans living here in the US for Secretary Hillary Clinton – enable them to go out and vote (GOTV) for electing Hillary Clinton as our next President. This organisation has been created primarily to achieve this goal," the website said.

The inaugural event and rally by Indian-Americans for Hillary would be addressed by John Podesta national campaign chair for the Clinton Campaign and Neera Tandon, president and COO of Center for American Progress.

An eminent Indian American, Tandon is one of the close confidant of Clinton. Noting that Clinton has thousands of Indian-American friends across the US, IAFH said that she had been to India four times as first lady, senator, and Secretary of State.

"Hillary Clinton's connection with India goes back a long way. She visited India as First Lady in March 1995 with her daughter Chelsea and President Bill Clinton. Since then, popular lore has it that she was a friend of India in the White House," it said.

Hillary Clinton. AFP

Hillary Clinton. AFP

"Having traveled extensively in India, she has a much deeper level of familiarity with India than any other candidate in the race," it said. The group was launched to network leaders and advocates who share Clinton's values, her vision for country, and a commitment to mobilising the resources and ideas needed to compete and win in partnership with the Indian-American community, it said on its website.

This also serves as a vehicle to demonstrate coalition support for Hillary and move the conversation forward on issues important to the Indian-American community, it said. In a rally earlier this year, Clinton had acknowledged that Indian-Americans were the nation's fastest growing racial minority.

As Secretary of State her focus on re-balancing US foreign policy toward Asia contained a strong emphasis on expanding ties with India, the group said, adding that during her tenure the US and India worked to ensure closer cooperation in high technology areas, particularly in defense and space.

IAFH said Clinton had promised that she will fix the nation's broken immigration system, improve access to higher education and increase wages — all issues are extremely important for the Indian-American electorate. "Indian Americans need comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to full and equal citizenship.

Only Hillary, as President, can act on these issues in a jiffy," it said. IAFH is second such group after Indian Americans for Trump 2016, which was launched in New Jersey in January.

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Updated Date: Apr 19, 2016 14:58:13 IST

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