WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Friday (September 4) highlighted the relationship he developed with Indian Americans and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and stated that he thinks that Indian-Americans would vote for him in the November 3 presidential election.
“We have great support from India and PM Modi. I think Indian people would be voting for Trump,” the US President said.
Trump also stated that he has very good relations with PM Modi. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a friend of mine and is a great leader,” Trump said on Friday. “Prime Minister Modi is a friend of mine and he is doing a very good job. It’s nothing easy but he is doing a very good job. You have got a great leader and you have got a great person,” he told reporters at a media briefing here.
Trump referred to his two-day visit to India along with First Lady Melania Trump in February this year before the coronavirus pandemic struck the two nations. “We had an incredible time and what we saw that the people are so incredible. It’s an incredible place and country, and it’s definitely big,” he stated.
Speaking about the Howdy Modi event in Huston, he appreciated PM Modi adding that “he couldn’t have been more generous”. “We had an event in Huston and it was a fantastic event. It was incredible. PM Modi could not have been more generous. But you’ve got a great leader and he’s a great person,” Trump said.
In recent weeks both the Democrats and Republicans have intensified their outreach to the Indian American community, in particular in the battleground states.
According to a PTI report, a recent research by Mason in battleground states showed that Indian Americans who traditionally vote for the Democrats are switching over to the Republican party in significant numbers because the friendship that Trump has with Modi and the latter’s high popularity among a large section of the community who number four million in the US, of which 2.5 million are eligible to vote.
In the battleground states, they number 1.3 million as per a recent remark made by Indian Americans in the Democratic party.
Mason’s survey was conducted before former vice president Joe Biden, the Democratic party’s presidential candidate, selected Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, a move Democratic party leaders believe would stem the flow of Indian Americans towards the Republicans.
Both Trump and his campaign, in recent remarks, assert that more Indian Americans support them than the Democrats. In various writings and remarks, the Democratic leaders in recent weeks have apprehended that Trump’s friendship with Modi might sway their traditional vote bank the election.
The Trump campaign believes that Indian Americans can play an important role in the election, especially in battleground states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio, where the two rival campaigns would be battling for every vote.
Democratic campaign too is coming out with ideas and commercials to woo Indian Americans.
The Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez has addressed the community virtually, wherein he has acknowledged the key role that Indian Americans can play in battleground states.
On August 15, both Biden and Harris made a video address to an Indian American event. The campaign has released a policy paper for Indian Americans.