‘Namaste... and sorry’: Tulsi Gabbard’s message to PM Modi ahead of Houston event
US congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard released a video message Thursday welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United States but said she won’t be able to make it to the Howdy, Modi! outreach because of her presidential campaign obligations.
“Namaste! I would like to extend a warm welcome to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his latest visit to the US,” Gabbard said, adding, “and I am sorry that I will not be able to join there in person due to previously scheduled presidential campaign events.”
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Gabbard is the first Hindu elected to US congress and has been close to Prime Minister Modi, who had sent her gifts on her wedding in 2015 and she attended both his previous diaspora outreach events in New York and San Jose.
“I’m very happy to see that Howdy Modi is bringing together Indian Americans and Hindu Americans from across our country, including many of my colleagues in the U.S. Congress.” said Gabbard.
“India is the world’s oldest and largest democracy, and one of the United States most important allies. The Unites States and India must work closely together if we are to address the pressing issues that impact our nations, our countries, and the entire world—such as combating climate change, preventing nuclear war and nuclear proliferation, and improving the economic well-being of our people.”
As a candidate for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination she has faced scrutiny of those ties and campaign contributions from Hindu-Americans. And she has sought to distance herself from him. In May she told Th Intercept, “There are things that are happening within the Indian government that I disagree with. I don’t pretend to support or approve or endorse all the practices of the ruling party in India.”
Gabbard said in the video message she will be campaigning in Iowa at the time of the Houston outreach, trying to stay in the race. She failed to qualify for the last presidential debate and if she is unable to make it to the next one, her candidature will be in serious jeopardy.