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Tulsi Gabbard, first Hindu member in US Congress, to run for President in 2020

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New York: Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu ever elected to US congress, is running for the White House in 2020, and could end up vying with Kamala Harris, who is likely to run also, for the affection, support and, most importantly, the financial backing of the country’s richest ethnic community, Indian Americans.

“I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week,” Gabbard told a CNN TV news anchor for a show that airs Saturday.

Gabbard, 37, is a US army veteran and a three-term member of the US House of Representative from Hawaii, where the 44th president of the United Sates Barack Obama was born and raised and where he would vacation with his family every major holidays.

 

Obama, now the elder statesman of the Democratic party has not endorsed Gabbard or Harris or any one of the 15 or more Democrats considering a presidential run, to go up against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Indian Americans have been keenly following both Gabbard and Harris in anticipation of their run for the White House with mixed feelings: Gabbard is a white American but as a practicing Hindu is an icon among Hindu Americans.

And Harris is an Indian American from her mother’s side and African American from her father’s.

There has been some disquiet among Indian Americans about Harris as she has sought to project herself as an African American.

“Not sure if the country is ready for another African American,” said an Indian American Republican donor and strategist, who said he would like Harris to devote more time burnishing her credentials as an Indian American.

Gabbard will become the first Hindu to run for the White House when she announces formally next week. Though not Indian American, Gabbard is often considered one by the community because of her professed religion — a Hindu — and there stories that Hindu temples in the Washington-Maryland-Virginia region chimed their bells to coordinate with her swearing in in 2012.

Gabbard is not Indian American, once again, but is often thought of one, being a Hindu. And if she does decide to run, as she has indicated she will next week, she will make history as the first Hindu, from a tiny religious minority.

Bobby Jindal, the former Republican governor of Louisiana state, became the first Indian American to run for the country’s top job in the 2016 cycle, but lost spectacularly. He had converted to christianity while still in college and, to the disappointment of the Indian American community, he had sought to distance himself from the community on the campaign trail, playing down his Indian heritage.


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National

SC dismisses plea seeking ban on roadshows, bike rallies during polls

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea filed by a former DGP of Uttar Pradesh seeking a direction to the Election Commission of India to ban roadshows and bike rallies during polls.

“We are not inclined to entertain this,” a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepka Gupta told advocate Virag Gupta, who was appearing for petitioners Vikram Singh and Shaivika Agrawal.

Singh, a former Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh, said in his petition that the roadshows and bike rallies violate EC’s instructions and cause damage to the environment.

 
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Will give PM Modi whistle, cap if he wants to be ‘chowkidar’: Owaisi

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Hyderabad: Akbaruddin Owaisi, the leader of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for adding ‘chowkidar’ as a prefix in his name on twitter and said that he would provide him with a whistle and a cap if the Prime Minister is interested in such a job.

Speaking at a rally here on Sunday, Owaisi said, “I have seen on Twitter where the names have become as ‘Chowkidar Narendra Modi’, ‘Chowkidar Amit Shah’. Why only one twitter? He should also mention ‘Chowkidar’ in his Aadhaar card, voter-id and passport.”

“We want a PM not a ‘Chaiwala’, ‘Pakodewala’…I am surprised at those who vote for Modi, what kind of person they vote for? If Modi is so interested in being a ‘Chowkidar’, he should come to me, I will offer him a Chowkidar’s cap and a whistle,” he said.

 

Akbaruddin had won from the Chandrayangutta Assembly seat in the last year’s assembly polls in Telangana.

In December 2018, Owaisi was elected as floor leader of AIMIM in the Telangana Legislative Assembly.

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Delhi HC seeks ED’s reply on Vadra’s plea seeking quashing of PMLA case

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New Delhi: Division bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Vinod Goel of Delhi High Court on Monday refused to grant interim relief to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi’s husband Robert Vadra and Manoj Arora on their plea for quashing of FIR/ECIR by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.

The Delhi HC said that it does not want to interfere since the anticipatory bail plea is being heard in the Patiala House Court.

Although, the Delhi HC Court has sought response of ED on their plea that challenges the Constitutional validity of certain sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act. It has also directed the ED to supply a copy of ECIR to Robert Vadra and Manoj Arora.

 

The next hearing in the matter has been scheduled for May 2.

Robert Vadra had moved Delhi High Court seeking quashing of FIR against him filed by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.

The Directorate has questioned Vadra multiple times in connection with the case which pertains London-based properties bought between the years 2005 and 2010.

Meanwhile, the ED filed a reply in the lower court alleging that Robert Vadra is the beneficial owner of various properties under investigation in the case which has been acquired through the proceeds of crime.

The Enforcement Directorate, in its application, had said that investigation is still ongoing and is at a crucial stage. In its reply, it had also sought a ‘free’ hand to a thorough interrogation.

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