02:12 GMT30 November 2020
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    Tusli Gabbard, who was the first Hindu-American to be elected to the US House of Representatives, enjoys close ties with India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The 39-year-old representative from the Hawaii state dropped out of the Presidential race in March of this year and pledged her support to Biden.

    India has been working on “contingency plans” ahead of the US Presidential vote on 3 November, with a high-ranking official telling Sputnik that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has already reached out to Tulsi Gabbard and Amy Klobuchar to establish “favourable” ties with the Democrats.

    The official claimed that the Indian government was “confident” of maintaining equally good ties with a potential Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration, as he noted that New Delhi had cultivated a “strong lobby” in Washington DC over the last few years.

    The official opined that even though there was a “real chance” that Biden might “reset” the US' relationship with China, American defence companies would continue to push for arms sales to India under a prospective Biden presidency as they have been doing under Trump.

    “I am convinced that nothing will change, even with Biden coming in, as the corporate interests will always be primary,” he claimed.

    The official also attributed New Delhi’s rising influence in Washington DC to strong ties between the top leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership and Israeli lobbyists.

    “Our PM has really worked hard to develop an excellent relationship with AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). Biden can’t take the support of the Israeli lobby for granted,” the official said.

    Another person who was among the few present at the reception hosted for visiting Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun at the US Embassy in New Delhi on 12 October, told Sputnik that the visiting American official had been “sensitive” to India’s apprehensions regarding a prospective change of the guard in DC, after the 3 November vote.

    The person underlined that Biegun did touch upon India’s concerns in the speech he delivered at the US-India Forum on 12 October.

    “I am confident that, regardless of the outcome of our presidential election next month, the vital partnership between the United States and India will continue and deepen over the decades to come,” Biegun had stated in his speech.

    The buzz around Joe Biden’s prospective policy towards India has been fuelled even more against the backdrop of opinion polls predicting a victory for the 77-year-old Democrat.

    Supporters of PM Modi in India have also reckoned that Biden might take a critical view of New Delhi’s decision last year to split Jammu and Kashmir last year, stripping it of its autonomy and statehood, in contrast to Trump who has stayed neutral on the matter.

    In his policy paper, Joe Biden’s Agenda for Muslim-Americans, the Democratic contender had argued in favour of India scrapping its controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as well as restoring the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir.

    India’s foreign ministry and Tulsi Gabbard have been asked to comment on the matter.

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