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US VP Kamala Harris hosts Diwali celebrations

New York State Senator Kevin Thomas joined US Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff at their Diwali celebrations on Wednesday.

"It was an honor to celebrate Diwali with @VP Kamala Harris in D.C. tonight. May your Diwali be free from darkness and abundant with light. Happy Diwali!!" New York State Senator Thomas posted on social media platform X.

Addressing the event, Harris said that the festival of Diwali is being celebrated at a time when there is a lot happening in the world.

She said, "We celebrate Diwali at a time when there is a lot happening in the world. And I think it's important that as we celebrate Diwali which is about celebrating the light we understand, it is always the context of understanding... and there is certainly a difficult in the dark moment we are facing... in particular the reports coming out of Israel and Gaza and I know for all of us it's devastating and Heartbreaking," according to Diya TV, America's first South Asian TV Network.

"President Joe Biden and I are working to support Israel's right to defend itself," she added, saying "It is critically important that we celebrate something like Diwali ..it is also about shedding light, and also about speaking truth" she added.

Indian-American entrepreneur Ajay Jain Bhutoria was also present at the event.

Taking to X, he posted pictures of the Diwali celebrations and said that he is honoured to join Harris on the occasion.

"Honored to join VP Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff at their Diwali celebration. In these trying times, I extend my heartfelt wishes for peace and healing to all facing turmoil and suffering. Let Diwali bring light and unity," he wrote on X.

Indian American lawmakers, community members, influencers & public figures were also seen at the function which demonstrates the Indian-American community's expanding representation and influence in American politics.

Indian Americans are about 1 per cent of the U.S. population and makeup. 82 per cent of all eligible voters in the US -- but are large enough in numbers to make a decisive difference in certain swing states.

President Trump's embrace of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi fueled speculation that it could drive many Indian American voters to the Republican Party, but data post-Biden's 2020 win suggested the opposite. Something that was also seen in 2016, where 77 per cent of Indian American voters supported Hillary Clinton and 16 per cent for Trump.

Eminent Indian-American Ajay Jain Bhutoria had earlier said that President Biden and Vice President Harris have been instrumental in helping millions of Americans during the pandemic, and their vision for the future is inspiring.

"President Biden and Vice President Harris have the experience, vision, and values that are needed to continue to move our country forward, and I am proud to support their re-election campaign," said Bhutoria, a long-time supporter of Biden and a major fundraiser for his campaign.

Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights which symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil. This year, Diwali will be celebrated on November 12.

(ANI)

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