Former United States Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard on Tuesday announced her exit from the Democratic Party.

In a statement, Gabbard alleged that the party is now under the “complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers”, who are driven by “cowardly wokeness” and divide the public by “racialising every issue”.

Gabbard, who was born in American Samoa, was the first Hindu member of the US Congress. She was sworn into the US House of Representatives in 2013 and served as the representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district till 2021.

In January 2019, Gabbard had announced her bid for presidential elections in 2020. She, however, withdrew her candidature during the primaries.

Gabbard’s links with the Bharatiya Janata Party and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been a topic of debate in the United States. When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the US in September 2014, he made it a point to meet the legislator. When Gabbard got married the next year, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav flew in from India with a special message from Modi.

An article in The Intercept in 2019 had described Gabbard as “a polarising figure” whose “progressive domestic politics are at odds with her support for authoritarians abroad, including Modi, [Egyptian President Abdel Fattah] Sisi, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad”.

In Tuesday’s announcement, Gabbard claimed that Democratic Party members stoke anti-white racism and actively work to undermine “god-given freedoms” in America.

“[They] demonize the police and protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans, believe in open borders, weaponize the national security state to go after political opponents, and above all, dragging us ever closer to nuclear war,” she said.

She added: “I believe in a government that is of, by, and for the people. Unfortunately, today’s Democratic Party does not. Instead, it stands for a government of, by, and for the powerful elite.”