First Hindu in US Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, to run for President

Washington, January 12

Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to the US Congress and a four-time Democrat lawmaker, will run for President in 2020, becoming the latest member of her party to challenge Republican President Donald Trump.

Gabbard, 37, said she will formally announce her candidacy within a week. The Iraq war veteran is the second woman after Senator Elizabeth Warren to enter the presidential race from the Democratic Party. More than 12 Democratic leaders, including Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris, are expected to announce their bid.

Gabbard, a four-time Democratic lawmaker in the US House of Representatives from Hawaii, said: “There are many reasons I’m offering to serve you as President — to ensure every American gets the healthcare they need, to bring about comprehensive immigration reform, to make sure we have clean water and clean air for generations to come, to fix our broken criminal justice system, to end the corrupt influence of special interests in Washington, and so much more. But the main reason I’m running has to do with an issue that is central to the rest — war and peace.”

Born in the US territory of American Samoa, Gabbard has become the first-ever Hindu to run for the presidency. Gabbard, who converted to Hinduism early in her life, is highly popular among Indian-Americans.

However, political pundits do not give her much chance at this point. Hindus constitute less than 1 per cent of the American population.

The winner of the primary elections beginning early 2020 would be finally nominated later that summer. — PTI

Youngest person running for top post

  • Gabbard is not of Indian  descent but comes from a Hindu family in Hawaii. Her father Mike Gabbard is a Hawaii state Senator
  • Elected to Hawaii legislature when she was only 21, she is the youngest person running for presidency so far for 2020
  • A combat veteran who has served in Iraq, Gabbard continues to be a member of Army National Guard in the rank of Major and while serving in Congress has been mobilised for emergency duties
  • Is on populist left in Democratic Party and supported Bernie Sanders against Hillary Clinton in presidential election in 2016

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