Relatives celebrate election of Bobby Jindal as first Indian-origin US Governor

November 14th, 2007 - 2:37 am ICT by admin  
Jindal has become the first Indian-American to lead a US State.

In Malerkotla, Jindal’s ancestral village, rhythmic beating of drums filled the air as his relatives danced and distributed sweets among friends and visitors.

“Now since he has been elected the Governor, he will be in a much higher position and we feel very happy,” said Kailash Devi, Jindal’s paternal aunt.

Jindal had made history in 2004 by becoming the first Indian American to be elected to the US Congress in nearly 50 years. In 2006 he was re-elected to the US House of Representatives.

Jindal’s cousin Tarseen Jindal, said his being elected Governor is a matter of pride for the entire nation.

“We are very proud of the fact that he has risen to this position from a very poor family. Hailing from such a small place he has made a big name for himself. The whole India is proud of this,” he said.

Jindal, 36, the Oxford-educated son of Indian immigrants, won 53 per cent votes with his nearest competitor Democrat Walter Boasso who could procure only 18 per cent of votes. Independent John Georges received 14 per cent and Democrat Foster Campbell garnered 13 per cent of the votes.

Jindal has become the state’s first non-white governor since Reconstruction and the nation’s youngest governor in office upon taking oath in January.

“My mom and dad came to this country in pursuit of the American Dream, and guess what happened? They found the American Dream to be alive and well right here in Louisiana,” a foreign news agency quoted Jindal as saying in his victory speech.

The race for the post of the Governor is said to be one of the highest spending in Louisiana’s history.

Jindal alone raised 11 million dollars, and Georges poured about 10 million dollars of his personal wealth into his campaign, while Boasso spent around five million dollars.

Incidentally, in 2003, Jindal garnered 48 per cent of the vote, but still lost to Democrat Kathleen Blanco. Blanco ended her re-election bid earlier this year after being sharply criticised for sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. (ANI)

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