Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna, who was recently elected for a third consecutive term from the Congressional district representing Silicon Valley in California, has been named as the Democratic Vice Chair of the Congressional India Caucus.
The position was created for the first time since the body’s formation in 1994. Khanna is also being considered as a potential contender to fill the US Senate seat from California that will fall vacant in January after Kamala Harris is sworn in as the country's vice president.
"I believe Ro Khanna would be an outstanding Democratic Vice Chair," Congressman Brad Sherman, Democratic Co-Chair of the Caucus, said in an email to his Congressional colleagues.
Khanna has made a mark for himself within the Democratic Party, but also at the national stage on key issues including foreign policy, national security, environment, commerce and manufacturing jobs.
While the 44-year-old legislator from California has always been a strong proponent of India-US ties, he shares a somewhat fraught relationship with conservative Hindu Indian-Americans.
After serving as its Vice Chair in the 117th Congress (2021-2022), Ro Khanna would likely be the Democratic Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus for the 118th Congress (2023-24). Congressman Steve Chabot would be the Republican Co-Chair of the India Caucus in the next Congress.
Amid farmers' protest against new farm laws in India, Ro Khanna had earlier hoped for "peaceful and fair solution" to the issue.
"India & the US share a rich tradition of democracy & peaceful protests. Farmworkers are the backbone of both our nations & must have their voices heard. I hope there's a peaceful and fair solution so they can provide for their families. I am encouraged by the ongoing dialogue," he tweeted.
Khanna previously served in the Obama administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of Commerce from August 2009 to August 2011.