NEW YORK — In his speech to the annual meeting of the Indian American Republican Committee in White Plains, New York, the chairman of the New York State Republican Party, Edward Cox, said Indian American Republicans are now being recognized as the powerful ‘Delta Force’ – a reference to an elite unit of the U.S Army – of the GOP.

At the Nov. 21 meeting, he credited Indian American Republicans for their role in helping to elect Donald Trump and said the GOP offers the freedom, opportunity, lower taxes, fiscal responsibility and local control that are hallmarks of Indian American success, and noted that in the past year of Republican leadership, Indian Americans are seeking public office like never before.

Shalabh “Shally” Kumar, chairman of the Republican Hindu Coalition, said Trump would usher in ‘Ram Rajya’ in the U.S. He said it was a myth that Indian Americans always vote Democratic and that tides were turning.

Kumar – who coined the slogan “Ab ki baar, Trump sarkar,” which he borrowed from Narendra Modi’s “Ab ki baar, Modi Sarkar” and means, “this time, a Trump government” – said many Modi followers were among the 4.2 million U.S. Hindus who voted for Trump because they saw similarities between the two leaders.

The senior vice chairman of the Indian American Republican Committee, Ven Parameswaran, said Indian Americans have been building political clout, slowly but steadily, ever since Dalip Singh Saund was elected as a California congressman in 1956.

Parameswaran noted that Bobby Jindal started his political career in Congress and was later elected governor of Louisiana, while Nikki Haley was elected governor of South Carolina and is now the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., the nation’s most important diplomatic post. Parameswaran said Indian Americans are attracted to the Republican party because the community shares its ideas on family values, religion, hard work, entrepreneurship, lower taxes and smaller government.

Towards the end of November and into early December, the committee will be starting chapters in Connecticut, New Jersey and Queens. Before the midterm elections, there will chapters of the Indian American Republican Committee in all states that have a sizeable Indian American population, Parameswaran added.

Doug Colety, chairman of the Westchester County Republican Committee; Terrence Murphy, New York State senator; Lawrence Garvey, chairman of the Rockland County Republican Committee; Thomas Koshy, national chairman of the Indian American Republican Committee; Paul Karukkupalli, co-vice chairman: and Dr. Priscilla Parameswaran, founder of the committee, spoke on the Indian American community’s contribution to the growth of Republican party.

The meeting concluded with an awards ceremony, during which Cox and other Republican leaders honored Indian American Republicans. Dr. Sampath Shivangi, chairman of Mississippi Board of Mental Health, received the “Person of the Year” award; Dr. A.D Amar, professor at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, was honored with the “Professor of the Year” award; Anand Ahuja received the “Attorney of the Year” award, and engineer Charles Kannankeril was given a “Special Recognition” award.

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