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India should continue its lobbying efforts in US under Donald Trump, says an Indian Academic

Academic Ashok sharma mentioned that India should continue lobbying in the US Congress and the India-US relationship is serious and institutionalised

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New Delhi, Feb 6, 2017: According to an Indian academic familiar with the practice, India should not stop but continue its lobbying efforts in the Us Congress to further its interests with Donald Trump in the White House.

Ashok Sharma, Fellow at the Australia-India Institute in the University of Melbourne and the author of the book “Indian Lobbying and its Influence on US Decision Making” stated that all US Governments have tried to curb the practice of lobbying but failed and Trump too was trying to bring some reforms in the practice, while delivering a lecture on “US-India relations under Trump-Modi administration: What lies ahead”.

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Sharma also mentioned, “The US-India relationship is at a stage where it cannot be derailed. But we have to continue our lobbying efforts in the US Congress if we have to make it the defining partnership of the 21st century.”

India’s lobbying efforts got a strong boost with the formation of the India Caucus in the US House of Representatives in 1993, Sharma informed.

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He said that it was lobbying that helped boost the bilateral relationship that India and US shared and was the reason behind the historic India-US civil nuclear deal signed in 2005.

The Academic also added India-US ties were based on geopolitics and with China making its presence felt in various parts of the world including the Asia-pacific and the rise of Islamic Terrorism, New Delhi has become an important companion for Washington.

As for how President Trump will take India’s relationship with US, his opinion was,” We need to wait and watch 100 days of the Trump administration.”

Sharma believes Trump being a businessman, would look forward to cutting deals with other countries. “He (Trump) is questioning all multilateral deals, including the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership).”

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However, Sharma concluded that the India-US partnership was very much institutionalised now and no US President can take in down just like that. (IANS)

 

 

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  • gzaetz

    The India Lobby has been immensely successful in securing huge advantages for India and in ensuring that India has needed to do virtually nothing to further US interests in India, like America’s interest in recovering its war dead from India’s territory. The question is, Will President Trump do anything to make this relationship more balanced, so that US interests aren’t given short shrift like they were under the Obama Administration? Will the India Lobby be put in its place?

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President Donald Trump Key Force In Driving The Midterms Elections

Trump’s name will not appear on the Nov. 6 ballots, but, he will clearly be front and center in the minds of voters

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Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks at a rally endorsing the Republican ticket in Erie, Pennsylvania, VOA

Three weeks before a crucial U.S. midterm election, it would be difficult to find much that Democrats and Republicans agree on. Both parties, however, seem to agree on one thing: President Donald Trump will be the key issue in elections that will determine control of Congress for the next two years.

For many voters, the “Trump factor” could be a deciding consideration in this year’s midterms. And as the president campaigns on behalf of Republicans around the country, he is quick to remind his supporters that he has a huge personal stake in the outcome on Nov. 6.

“All of this extraordinary progress is at stake,” Trump told a recent rally in Southaven, Mississippi. “I’m not on the ballot. But in a certain way, I am on the ballot. So please, go out and vote. Go out and vote.”

Motivating Democrats

As much as Trump motivates his core supporters, he also energizes critics like Jenny Heinz, who helped organize a recent anti-Trump rally in New York City.

“There is an active resistance to this president, who is operating as if he is above the law.”

No question, Trump is the central figure in this year’s election, according to American University analyst David Barker.

“Yes, Democrats from the day after the election in 2016 have been waiting for this day, and it is all about Trump,” Barker told VOA. “Trump fully embraces that. He wants it to be all about him.”

Historically, midterm elections have been a mix of local issues, local candidates, and partly a referendum on the sitting president.

This year’s campaign seems to have accelerated a trend whereby midterm congressional elections have increasingly become nationalized.

“It really is now all national, and everyone is kind of looking at this as either a referendum for or against the president and his party,” said George Washington University expert Lara Brown.

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supporters of President Donald Trump, wearing Mike Braun for Congress shirts, cheer as he arrives for a campaign rally at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind. VOA

In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, a majority of voters in both parties said a congressional candidate who shares their view of Trump is an important consideration as they assess the coming midterms.

Seizing the spotlight

Unlike some presidents who have tried to resist the idea that the midterms are a presidential referendum, Trump has willingly embraced it.

Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon told Associated Press Television that he favors the approach.

“I think if you make this a national referendum and nationalize this election on the success of President Trump’s program, it is a clear winner, and I think the Democrats get crushed.”

Others are skeptical, including former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

“All right, fine. You want it to be about you? Well, every candidate on the ballot now has to account for your behavior, has to account for your tweets,” said Steele, a recent guest on VOA’s Plugged In with Greta Van Susteren.

Climate Change, Trump
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. VOA

Trump hopes to boost Republican turnout in November; but, Democrats argue he is likely to be just as effective in spurring their voters to the polls.

Maryland Democratic Representative Dutch Ruppersberger also spoke on Plugged In.

“When all you do is care about yourself and not about people, not about what they need – like your seniors needing medical care. And you just want to look good and knock them out (politically), which is happening, this is hurting. And this is why, I think, a lot of people will come out (to vote).”

Tending the base

Trump has been aggressive on the campaign trail courting his base, especially in Republican-leaning states where many of this year’s closer Senate races are taking place.

“They are focusing on their base, and they are trying to make sure that they are going to show up and vote. And it could make some difference in close midterm elections,” said University of Virginia analyst Larry Sabato.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, . VOA

Some Republicans have urged Trump to try and broaden his appeal beyond his base during campaign visits this year.

But Gallup pollster Frank Newport said the president has limited options.

Also Read: Obama On Why Its Important To Vote In This Midterm Elections

“He has kind of given up on attempting to broaden his appeal, it looks like. It fits more with his style,” said Newport. “He has, as we all know, a very combative style. He likes to have enemies because that gives him somebody to fight against. So, it would be hard for a president like Trump anyway to try and broaden his appeal.”

Trump’s name will not appear on the Nov. 6 ballots, but, he will clearly be front and center in the minds of voters, and the midterm results could determine the future of his presidency. (VOA)