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Indian-Americans top fundraisers list for Obama

world Updated: Feb 06, 2012 01:24 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Shefali Duggal Razdan has been called the most powerful woman in California. Democrats must be just happy to have her on their side for her remarkable fundraising skills.

She is among President Barack Obama's top fundraisers. One of four Indian-Americans figuring in the list of top bundlers disclosed by the president's re-election campaign last week.

Shefali raised between $200,000 and $500,000 (no specifics). The other bundlers - called so for handing over checks collected from other donors in bundles - of Indian origin were Deven Parekh, Sunil Sabharwal and Kavita Tankha.

Parekh didn’t respond to an email, and didn’t return a call taken by his office. Sabharwal and Tankha couldn’t be contacted. Tankha seems to be an active California Democrat.

Parkesh is listed in Obama's list as having raised in the $200,000-to-$500,00 range and Sabharwal and Tankha each between $50,000 and. $100,000.

Razdan believes Indian Americans' support for Obama has grown, compared to 2008, when he won his first term. Simply because they know him better now.

"Now that we have observed and experienced his vision for the US, and particularly issues as they relate to immigration and relations with India, there is significant traction within the South Asian community in supporting our President," Razdan told HT.

Shefali, who was born in Hardwar in India, first raised money for Al Gore's campaign, then Hillary Clinton's. She worked for Obama after he won the Democratic nomination.

There will be many Indian-origin donors on Obama's list of individual donors, who can give up to $5,000. But the list is too long to trawl for Indian-sounding names.

But not all Indian Americans are backing Obama. Some of them — difficult to pin a number on them — are donating generously to the Republican candidates too.

Mitt Romney, the current frontrunner, has refused to disclose his list of bundlers. But a few Indian Americans figured on his list of individual donors.

And while political funding by the Indian American community might not be the reason for it, the India caucus in congress is the largest and it's completely bipartisan.

Indian-origin Americans are among the most prosperous ethnic communities in the US and are avidly wooed by both parties. For now, though, their money is on — and with —Obama.