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Narendra Modi is 'incredibly popular', will become PM again: US Congressman

Republican Congressman Rich McCormick said PM Modi is an "incredibly popular" leader and India's economy had been expanding rapidly under his leadership. He said the US sees India as a very incredibly important strategic and tactical ally to resist China's influence.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Washington Published on: March 13, 2024 7:05 IST
US Congressman, PM Narendra Modi
Image Source : PTI Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Washington: US Congressman Rich McCormick has described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an "incredibly popular" leader and exuded confidence that he would be re-elected to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. McCormick, a decorated veteran and emergency room physician, said India's economy has made significant strides under PM Modi's leadership.

“Prime Minister Modi is incredibly popular. I was just over there. I actually had lunch with Prime Minister Modi and several other congressmen, and to see his popularity across party lines really. Somebody who I think is around 70 per cent popular. He is going to be prime minister again,” McCormick, a Republican from Georgia, told news agency PTI in an interview.

In response to a question, the US Congressman further said, "To see his progressive outlook on economy, on development, on goodwill towards all people, to see his application and positivity to the Indian people in the diaspora worldwide is going to affect the global economy, their strategic relationships. I look forward to his influence in a very positive way."

McCormick further said India's economy is expanding anywhere from four to eight per cent per year under PM Modi's leadership. “If you look at their willingness to work with other nations now, I would say, I'll put a caveat in there, sometimes there's a bit of protectionism, which a lot of characters do. They've kind of copied some things that China have done. They'll have incredible leverage going forward as businesses want to get into India in an expanding market,” he added.

He also stressed that businesses should be conducted in a manner that makes sense to both nations and lauded India for not having the aggressive posture like China does, adding that the US sees India as a very incredibly important strategic and tactical ally to resist Beijing. “We need to make sure that we develop that relationship where there's true trust, that we continue to realise that India is honest. They're not trying to steal our technologies; they're trying to share them. It's okay to use your economic leverage to do that, and as long as we're having an honest conversation, we can have a great conversation in the future,” McCormick said.

India-US relationship very strong under Biden administration: Ro Khanna

US Congressman Ro Khanna, who is also the co-chair of the Congressional India Caucus, said the bilateral relationship between India and the US is very strong and President Joe Biden's administration has worked to strengthen these relations. He also spoke about India's remarkable progress in several fields.

“It (India-US relationship) is very strong on defense, on economics, on the cooperation on AI, on alternative energy, many areas of cooperation," Khanna told news agency PTI in an interview. He said India has progressed a lot in terms of economic development, "huge ambition" and a "lot of energy".

"Of course, there are challenges too. There are challenges of income inequality like we face here in the United States. Challenges to make sure that it's a vibrant, pluralistic society. But you get a sense that India has great ambition,” Khanna said in response to a question. The Indian American lawmaker said that he has opposed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), saying he supports a pluralistic approach to immigration.

Khanna said the Biden administration has worked a lot in strengthening the India-US relationship. "I think President Biden has strengthened it. He understands the importance of our economy. India is a big buyer of American manufacturing, American products. He understands the strategic relationship in terms of our Navy, in terms of our defense, in terms of our defense technology,” Khanna said.

The 47-year-old Khanna has represented the 17th Congressional District of California, primarily Silicon Valley, since 2017. Last year, before the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his official state visit, Khanna had written to the House Speaker that Modi be invited for a joint address to the US Congress.

(with PTI inputs)

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