While the US Presidential election has generated immense interest with the current edition proving to be a neck and neck race, the excitement is not missed here in India too. Buoyed by the photo finish mood with incumbent President and Democratic nominee Barack Obama engaged in a close fight with Republican candidate Mitt Romney as the polls were underway in the US on Tuesday, Heera Kamboj, US Consulate General’s Press and Information Officer in Chennai summed up the trend: ‘’The seven swing states in our country are going to determine the final outcome of the Presidential polls tomorrow.’’
In a free-wheeling conversation with ‘Express,’ Heera, who is a US citizen belonging to a third generation Sikh family settled there, said that the collective opinion of 300 million people in the US is clearly hinged on threadbare analysis of various issues and it will be reflected in the polling. ‘’The elections are essentially a vote out of the wallets of our citizens.
The number one issue is measures guaranteed for overcoming the economic slowdown and generation of jobs,’’ according to Heera, who is in the city for an `Election Watch’ programme organised by the US Consulate General at the Asian School of Business on Wednesday morning.
‘’People’s opinion are changing on the basis of issues. That is the good sign of the US Presidential elections. Still, our system is not that perfect,’’ she admits.
‘’The same heat was felt in the polls held in 2008 also,’’ she noted. The high ranking official also asserted that fears expressed by some quarters on the US-India relations is out of place and irrespective of the outcome of the Presidential polls, the foreign policy of the country is unlikely to undergo major changes. ‘’America can grow only if other countries also grew and, in that context, India has a big role. Already, the US-India ties are very strong in the cultural-economic spheres as well as in the areas of science and technology transfer. Both countries have many similarities in the freedom of religion and press also,’’ she said.
‘’I’m so excited on the poll outcome,’’ she said, but held back her choice for whom she had already cast her vote, citing official constraints. ‘’One thing is sure. Whoever is elected as the next President, he represents the majority of the country.
As officials, we’ll follow the diktats of the people emerging through the voting and the policies followed by the new government,’’ she said, asserting that it is quite different from the Indian context where political divisions continues to overwhelm the polity even after the polls.