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Many Indian Americans in race for US Cong

india Updated: May 06, 2012 11:58 IST

A record number of Indian Americans -- at least 12 -- are in the fray for the November 2012 polls vying for a place in the House of Representative, reflecting the serious effort of this fastest growing ethnic community in the US to politically empower itself.

Cutting across party lines, these Indian-American candidates are spread all over the country – with two each from California and Michigan.

Congressman Hansen Clare, who is half Indian, is seeking re-election from Michigan, while another candidate Tulsi Gabbard, a Hindu, is receiving massive support from Indian-Americans.

The motivation and inspiration for these Indian-American candidates numbering at least a dozen comes from the phenomenal success of two rising stars of the Republican party, Nikki Haley (Governor of South Carolina) and Bobby Jindal (Governor of Louisiana).

However, majority of the Indian-American candidates are running for the Congress on a Democratic Party ticket.

Indian-Americans have been traditional supporter of the Democratic party, an indication of which comes from a recent survey according to which as many as 85 per cent of the Indian Americans favour re-election of President Barack Obama.

Among the Indian-American candidates seeking election for the US House of Representatives on a Democratic Party ticket are Upendra Chivukula from New Jersey, Raja Krishnamoorthi from Illinois, K P George from Texas, Ami Bera from California, Manan Trivedi from Pennsylvania, Syed Taj from Michigan and Vipin Verma from Florida.

Darshan Rauniyar from Washington, though from Nepal, is considered Indian-American by many.

Hansen Clarke and Tulsi Gabbard are also from the Democratic Party.

Young and dynamic Ranjit "Ricky" Gill from California and Ron Bhalla from Tenesse are the two Indian-American candidates in the fray from the Republican Party.

The 2012 election cycle has beaten the record of 2010 Congressional elections when for the first time eight Indian-Americans were in the fray, of which only Clarke tasted electoral victory.

Though the elections are still six months away, if news reports are any indication chances are that Clarke could have more Indian American colleagues in US House of Representatives.

Besides Clarke, only two other Indian-Americans have been elected to the Congress so far -- Bobby Jindal and Dalip Singh Saund.

"We see Indian-Americans on the political rise," Toby Chaudhuri of the Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) told PTI.

AAPI is launching a new bipartisan Leadership Network to work for the victory of the record number of Asian-American candidates seeking election this year.

"Many are gathering to launch a new Leadership Network that builds on the rapid growth in the number of Asian-American elected officials and candidates," Chaudhuri said.

Chaudhuri said the new Leadership Network will help build and nurture a new generation of bipartisan leaders from the fastest growing racial group in the United States.

Among the AAPI candidates who may alter the balance of power in the next Congress are Republican Ricky Gill and Democrats Ami Bera and Manan Trivedi.

Gill, who is just 25, is a political star in the making.