Washington: A bipartisan group of US lawmakers will travel to India to take part in the Red Fort address of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the country’s Independence Day on August 15, according to an official statement.
The bipartisan Congressional delegation is led by Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna and Congressman Michael Waltz. The two are co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.
“It is an honor to lead a bipartisan delegation to India and be there to celebrate India’s Independence Day. My grandfather spent his life fighting for India’s independence. So, this is a deeply personal and meaningful trip for me. It is also a historic moment for the US-India relationship. I plan to meet with Prime Minister Modi, External Affairs minister S Jaishankar, cabinet ministers and a diverse range of MPs along with business, tech, cricket and Bollywood leaders,” Khanna to PTI on Monday.
“This trip will deepen the coordination and partnership between our countries and allow us to engage on important issues like decarbonisation, digitisation, economic partnership, defense ties, and pluralism and human rights,” he said.
The lawmakers will visit Red Fort where the prime minister will address the nation on India’s Independence Day on August 15.
They will meet with business, tech, government, and Bollywood leaders in Mumbai, Hyderabad, and New Delhi and visit Raj Ghat, the historic memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, the statement said.
Khanna and Waltz will be joined by lawmakers Deborah Ross, Kat Cammack, Shri Thanedar, and Jasmine Crockett along with Rich McCormick and Ed Case.
For Congressman Khanna, this is history coming full circle.
“His grandfather Amarnath Vidyalankar was an Indian freedom fighter who spent four years in jail alongside Gandhi and later was part of India’s first parliament,” said the statement issued on Monday.
“As co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, we are proud to lead a bipartisan delegation to India. We will be there to discuss how to strengthen economic and defense ties between our two counties, the oldest and largest democracies,” Khanna said.
“Both of us believe that the US-India relationship will be a defining one of the 21st century. India is a key partner in ensuring multipolarity in Asia and the denial of China as a hegemon,” he said.
“We must continue to strive to make progress and build our partnership based on our shared founding values of democracy, freedom of the press and assembly, and human rights. This delegation is a historic opportunity to drive further collaboration and advance shared aims,” Khanna said.
Earlier this year, Khanna and Waltz hosted a historic US-India Summit on the Capitol Hill featuring panels and remarks from government leaders, experts, and Indian-American leaders from across the country.