Indian-Americans reportedly raised over USD 3.3 million in a single night for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Around USD 2 million was written in by “big donors” and USD 1.3 million came in from smaller donors, said Ramesh Kapur, a member of the Biden-Harris National Finance Committee 2020, who participated in the fundraiser, adding he believed this was a record amount raised by the community at any single-night fundraiser.
Biden acknowledged that he knew and understood this was because of Kamala Harris, his Indian-American nominee for vice president, Kapur said.
The Indian-origin donors also allegedly pressed his campaign to moderate its positions on Kashmir and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, as also to add an agenda for the Hindu community on its web platform.
The former vice-president was introduced to over 200 attendees at the virtual fundraiser by Vivek Murthy, the former US surgeon general, who is among those the community is pushing for a cabinet position in a possible Biden administration. Murthy recalled how Biden had helped with his rocky confirmation hearing process in the Republican-controlled US Senate.
Some Indian Americans who wanted to “do more than just write cheques” also took the opportunity to press the former vice-president on his campaign’s position on Kashmir, CAA and the “lack of equal treatment” of Hindus, who don’t have a dedicated section on the campaign platform’s section titled “Joe’s Vision”.
There are various segments in that section of the website, which also explains Biden’s agenda for communities including Indian-Americans, Muslims, Jews and catholic Christians.
A recent poll of the Indian American community by Indiaspora-AAPI Data showed that while Biden’s support in the community has fallen compared to Clinton’s, President Donald Trump’s has gone up from 16% in 2016 to 28%. This shift has been attributed by some to the Biden campaign’s positions on Kashmir and CAA, among other things.
The 1.8 million-strong Indian American community is being wooed aggressively by both Biden and Trump campaigns.