Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Wednesday said that the outcome of the United States presidential election is unlikely to affect India’s relationship with Washington. In an interview to DW News, Shringla said that India’s ties with America were based on bipartisan support.
The elections hung in the balance on Wednesday as counting is underway in a handful of closely contested states. “Our relations with the US are really based on bipartisan support, you see it in Congress, you see it at the public levels,” Shringla told the German public broadcast service. “We do believe that we have forged a relationship that today has withstood the test of time, is very comprehensive and multi-faceted.”
Shringla, who is on a seven-day trip to Europe to review bilateral relations and discuss matters of mutual interest with key European nations, also said that both the US and India share same strategic vision – in bilateral, regional and multilateral matters.
The foreign secretary said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump have a “special” relationship. “But you have to remember that Prime Minister Modi’s relationship with President [Barack] Obama was also very special,” he added.
The camaraderie between Trump and Modi has been widely documented over the past few years during his presidency. Modi visited Houston, Texas, in September 2019 to attend an event named after him – Howdy Modi – and promoted the slogan “Ab ki baar, Trump sarkaar” (Trump’s government for the next US election). The event, and the slogan, were seen as Modi’s endorsement to Trump’s reelection.
Shringla noted that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has made it very clear via his statements that he also values a “strong” India-US strategic partnership. “That’s common to both President Trump and Vice President Biden,” he said.
Voting for the elections concluded as scheduled on Tuesday night, but many states routinely take days to finish counting ballots.
Huge numbers of people voted by mail because of the pandemic, making it likely the count will take longer than usual. This time record number of people also voted by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic, making it likely the count will take longer than usual.
As of Wednesday morning, key states where results were pending include Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada, Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia. Biden was making leads in several, but Trump is projected to have won important states such as Florida, Ohio and Texas.