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Rep. Rice joins India Caucus

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(DIYA TV) — Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-New York, announced her intent to join the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans. She made the announcement on Feb. 5, while attending a meeting of the Indian American Voters Forum.

She told the crowd her decision to join the Caucus after hearing the story of Sureshbhai Patel. While visiting from India, Patel was out for a walk in an Alabama neighborhood when a police officer approached him and slammed him to the ground before placing him under arrest. That police officer has since been fired, and has faced two separate criminal trials for the use of excessive force—both trials ended with hung jury mistrials, and the case was ultimately dismissed in January.

For Rice, fostering the continued development of the relationship between the U.S. and India was paramount in her decision to join the Caucus.

“I have joined the Indian American Caucus to ensure that we can do everything we can do to keep the relation between India and America as strong as we can,” she said.

Indian Consul General in New York Dyaneshwar Mulay led the meeting, used to promote the growth of the House India Caucus, the largest Caucus of the House with more than 180 members. The meeting was held in the home of Varinder Bhalla, chairman of the voters forum.

“Right now, this is the relationship (India and U.S.) that seems to be the most flourishing of all the countries,” Mulay said at the meeting—President Obama has visited India three times since taking office back in 2008.

Focusing on politics domestic to India, Mulay described why he feels Prime Minister Modi is a “proactive” leader for the country.

“For example, on the defense side, we have decided not just to become the largest buyer of defense equipment and technology, but to co-produce in India and it has created an enormous opportunity for connecting with each other,” he said.

Mulay added: “The partnership between two countries connects almost every considerable facility. And the Caucus being there helps.”

Also in attendance at the meeting were Rep. Grace Meng, D-New York, already a member of the Caucus, and New York state Senator Jack Martins, who is currently running for a Congressional seat, and has pledged to join the Caucus if elected to the House. The Caucus is chaired by Re. Ami Bera, D-Calif.—the lone Indian American in the House of Representatives—and Rep. George Holding, R-North Carolina. Both men were appointed to form the Caucus in Dec. 2014.

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Senators Warner, Cornyn talk US-India relations to USIBC

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Senators Warner, Cornyn talk US-India relations to USIBC | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — China as it relates to the U.S. and India was a central topic of conversation at the USIBC Post-Election Perspectives virtual conference. Democratic Senator Mark Warner, Republican Senator John Cornyn in conversation with former U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma both conveyed how India’s importance to the U.S. is increasing in terms of security and economic opportunity moving forward. Both Senators were confident bilateral ties between the world’s two largest democracies would continue to strengthen under a Biden administration. Cornyn and Warner are co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus.

Elections officials in Georgia called the presidential race for President-elect Joe Biden after a hand recount recertified the results. The vote discrepancy totaled in the hundreds and not thousands needed for President Trump to change the outcome. Biden will be awarded the state’s 16 electoral votes. The Trump campaign continues to dispute the outcome and says they will continue to pursue all legal options.

And the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Anthony Edwards #1 overall in the NBA Draft. The Golden State Warriors picked big man James Wiseman #2, but lost NBA champion & sharpshooter Klay Thompson for the year to an Achilles injury

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Unprecedented Diwali greetings offered to diaspora

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Unprecedented Diwali greetings offered to diaspora | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — From President Trump and President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris to the Georgia Senate candidates vying for votes in the January runoff election, Diwali greetings were expressed by leaders around the U.S. en masse, an acknowledgement that the Indian American community is an emerging political force.

Hirsh Singh, who ran for a U.S. Senate seat in New Jersey, but lost to fellow Indian American Rik Mehta in the Republican primary, announced his candidacy for Governor of New Jersey. He’ll be facing at least two other Republican challengers, not to mention the Democratic incumbent Governor Phil Murphy, who is seeking a second term. Singh also has litigation pending before the Supreme Court in an effort to change the results in that Republican primary.

Legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee has died from complications of COVID-19. He was 85. Chatterjee performed in more than 200 movies and worked closely with Oscar-winning director Satyajit Ray

14 year old Indian American teen Anika Chebrolu from Frisco, Texas won the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge, one of the premier middle school science competitions in the U.S. for discovering a molecule that could lead to a therapy for COVID-19, taking home a $25,000 prize in the process.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Modi congratulates Biden & Harris on election victory

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Modi congratulates Biden & Harris on election victory | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Indian Prime Minister Modi spoke to President-Elect Biden over the phone to discuss priorities and concerns for both nations, with a focus on the pandemic, access to affordable vaccines, rebuilding the economy, climate change and working together in the Indo-Pacific. Modi also extended his congratulations to Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, who will be the first Indian American ever to serve at that level.

In the first volume of his memoir titled “A Promised Land,” former President Obama wrote about a visit to India during his first term, including meeting with former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as well as senior Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. His book also talks about the influence of Mahatma Gandhi on his life. Obama had high praise for Manmohan Singh, but levied criticism of Rahul Gandhi and the BJP.

As the COVID-19 pandemic surges around the United States, forcing new lockdowns in cities and states around the nation, India is also being hammered by the virus, with New Delhi being the epicenter of the worst outbreak in the world at the moment according to new data.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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