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Another Indian American Nikki Haley, to be sworn in as Governor

world Updated: Jan 10, 2011 14:52 IST

PTI
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Indian American Nikki Haley, will script history on Wednesday when she will be sworn in as the first woman Governor of South Carolina state, becoming only the second person from the community to hold a gubernatorial post in the US.

Daughter of Sikh immigrant parents from Punjab, Republican Namrata Nikki Randhawa Haley won the November 3 elections to the Governor's post, trouncing the Democratic party of US President Barack Obama. 38 year old Haley, who will be the first non white Governor of South Carolina, will replace another Indian American, Bobby Jindal to be the youngest Governor of the US.

Jindal, at present, is the youngest governor.

"This is a new page for South Carolina and we have a lot of families that want to get involved in that," Haley said. In fact, she is seeking cue from Jindal's success story. Last week, she appointed Tony Keck, a key aide of Bobby Jindal in Louisiana, to be her next director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

The swearing in ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday while the inaugural gala has been scheduled for later that evening; before which an open house has been arranged at the Governor's Mansion.

"One of the traditional staples of the Haley family is the Haley family fun night. And so what you're seeing on Tuesday night is a family fun night that allows anybody from anywhere to come and participate and celebrate the fact that South Carolina is having a new day and be excited about it," Haley said.

Expectations are high from Haley as she takes the mantle of State governance. Nikki Haley must lay out where she wants to take South Carolina in her inaugural address on Wednesday, former governors and speech writing experts say.

Haley has herself gone on record to say that her inaugural event would not be at the expense of the tax payer's money. As a result the events would be reflective of the extremely tight budget this year.

"What I cared about was to make sure as many people that wanted to participate could," she said. "And then what I also cared about is that this is private funds. That we made sure these were not taxpayer dollars at work. And so of course as we always do, we're going to try to be as conservative as possible. But I did not want that to be an issue so private funds is the way that we've raised money to do all these events," Haley said.