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Path to White House: Why it seems like a dreary picture for Bobby Jindal?

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By Prachi Mishra

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal recently took to twitter to announce that he is running for Presidential elections in United States of America.

With this announcement, several statements deeming Jindal as having odd chances at winning the elections have also started doing the rounds in the media circuit.

A recent poll conducted by CNN showed that winning the election is a long shot for Jindal, as he was placed at the bottom of the field, registering only 1% of support.

Many have been asserting that Jindal had a fair chance of winning the elections in 2012. However, this time his path to the White House seems to be a bit difficult.

Drop in popularity in Louisiana

Jindal started on a high note as Louisiana governor. His handling of Hurricane Gustav in 2008 brought widespread accolades, contrary to his predecessor’s handling of Katrina in 2005.

However, now his popularity, in his own state has taken a toll as he nears the end of his tenure. He has been consistently criticized for focusing more on laying the groundwork for a presidential run than on Louisiana’s fiscal troubles.

The primary reason for the dip in Jindal’s popularity is because of his handling of the state’s budget woes. In the recent past Louisana has faced severe budget troubles and additional reductions to state services. His refusal to raise taxes to help balance the state’s books has caused budget cuts to popular programs including health care and education sectors.

The huge dip in his popularity came to the fore with a recent poll conducted by CNN, showing his approval in his own state, at a mere 32 per cent.

“Governor Jindal has failed Louisiana in every way possible, and there’s no reason to believe he will have any more success as a candidate than he did as governor, ”State Senator Karen Carter Peterson, was reported as saying by a media outlet.

#BobbyJindalIsSoWhite: Disowning his roots

Jindal is facing a lot of flak on Twitter after he, while launching his presidential bid, tweeted that doesn’t want to be called an Indian-American.

The Indian- American community slammed Jindal for his tweet and started trending #BobbyJindalIsSoWhite to mock him.

The jokes were started by professional Indian-American comics Hari Kondabolu and Asif Mandvi.

Earlier in January this year, he had asserted that he didn’t believe in hyphenated identities, adding that his parents came to the US from India to become ‘Americans’ and not ‘Indian-Americans’.

Difficulty in emerging from the ‘pack’

With the announcement, Jindal has become the 13th major Republican candidate to enter the race, along with Texas Senator Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, neurosurgeon Ben Cars et al.

Several of the candidates have a much higher profiles and more prominent political victories as compared to Jindal’s.

Despite acknowledging the fact he had brought reforms in his state, it can’t be denied that the other candidates too have achieved rehabilitation for their respective states.

In order to emerge from the ‘pack’ of and distinguish himself, Jindal will have to bring some serious efforts to clear the route for him.

Running for presidential elections might be an uphill task for Jindal, but not an impossible one, provided he revives his reputation that has dropped immensely in the recent past.

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Gurbir S Grewal nominated to be the next attorney general of New Jersey, US

Gurbir S Grewal has been nominated to be the next attorney general of US and would be the first Sikh to assume the top state law enforcement position in United States

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Gurbir S Grewal nominated to be the next attorney general of US.
Gurbir S Grewal nominated to be the next attorney general of US. Facebook
  • Gurbir S Grewal is nominated to be the next attorney general of New Jersey, US
  • He would be the first Sikh to assume the top state law enforcement position

In a historic first, a distinguished Sikh public prosecutor “who has experienced hate and intolerance first-hand” has been nominated to be the next attorney general of the US state of New Jersey.

If Gurbir S. Grewal’s nomination by Democrat Governor-elect Phil Murphy is approved by the State Senate early next year, he will be the first Sikh to assume the top state law enforcement position in the United States and the second Indian-American, after Kamala Harris, who held the position in California before her election to the US Senate.

Announcing the nomination in the state capital, Trenton, on Tuesday, Murphy said: “In light of all that is being thrown at us by the president, we need an attorney general unafraid to join our fellow states in using the law to protect all New Jersey residents.”

Grewal, 44, is the prosecutor of Bergen County, an important district across the river from New York city. He was appointed to by the current Republican Governor Chris Christie and that is likely to mute any opposition the senate.

Symbolic of the public acceptance of minorities despite scattered incidents of bigotry, two Sikhs were elected mayors last month, Ravi Bhalla in Hoboken, New Jersey, and Preet Didbal in Yuba City, California.

Vin Gopal, who became the first Indian-American to be elected to the New Jersey State Senate last month, said that Grewal is someone “not only eminently qualified, but who will bring a perspective to the office that is diverse and long-overdue.”

After Murphy made the announcement, Grewal said: “I wanted to give back to a country that has given us and other immigrant families like us so much.”

Turning to his three daughters, Kyrpa, Mayher and Mahek, who were with him, he said: “As someone who has experienced hate and intolerance first-hand throughout my life, I wanted to work to ensure we all live in and that the three of you grow up in a fair and just society.”

Grewal added: “I wanted to perhaps also show people that while I and others like me may look different or worship differently, that we, too, are committed to this country.”

Hailing Grewal’s nomination, Rajwant Singh, the co-founder of the National Sikh Campaign, said: “These are exactly the kind of role models our youngsters need to feel proud of being a Sikh and an American.”

“While America could be seen having a very polarized situation politically and yet there are some very shining moments to show that people of all backgrounds can aspire for top positions,” he added.

South Asian Bar Association President Rishi Bagga, said: “The decision to appoint a visible minority as the chief law enforcement officer for New Jersey reflects the diversity of the state and of the US, and is especially important in a time where minorities and immigrants have often felt targeted by law enforcement.”

Attorney General is a very powerful position New Jersey heading the Department of Law and Public Safety, which includes the state police.

Grewal has earlier served as an assistant federal prosecutor in New York and in New Jersey, where he was also the chief of the Economic Crimes Unit.

In the administration of former President Barack Obama, Indian Americans have held senior law positions. Neal Kumar Katyal was an Acting Solicitor General.

Sri Srinivasan, now a federal appeals court judge in Washington, did a stint as the Principal Deputy Solicitor General.

Vanita Gupta was the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and headed the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

US President Donald Trump has appointed Uttam Dhillon to be his special assistant and associate counsel. (IANS)