Three lawmakers to join Obama on India trip

Washington (IANS): Three Democratic lawmakers, including the lone Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera, whose parents moved to the US from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat in the 1950s, will join President Barack Obama on his India trip.

Bera, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and India Americans, will be joined by his predecessor Joe Crowley, who is currently vice chair of the Democratic Caucus and Senator Mark Warner, co-chair of Senate India caucus.

“As the son of Indian immigrants, I am extremely honoured to be a part of this historic trip to India with the president,” said Bera.

“Prime Minister Modi’s trip to the United States last year was a turning point in relations for our countries, and now this trip will be an important opportunity to continue to move the US-India relationship forward,” he said.

“As the oldest and largest democracies in the world, our countries have many common interests and I hope this will be another step toward realizing the full potential of the US-India partnership,” Bera added.

Bera became India Caucus co-chair at the beginning of the current 114th Congress.

Formed in 1993, the India Caucus is a bipartisan group of members dedicated to championing strong ties between the US and India and supporting the Indian-American community. It is the largest country caucus in Congress.

“The principles of India’s democratic constitution serve as a shining example for the world, and what better time for the President of the United States to make this historic visit than to join India in celebrating its Republic Day,” said Crowley.

“It is an honour to join President Obama on this trip and I look forward to robust discussions on how we can open the next chapter in US-India relations,” he said.

“I strongly believe that the United States-Indian relationship should and will serve as a key building block of US foreign policy in the decades ahead.

“Working together, the United States and India can be a transformational force in meeting global challenges,” Crowley said.

Warner had announced last week that he too would be travelling to India as part of the presidential delegation.