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Modiís US visit: 46 elected US officials confirm presence at Modi reception

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New York (Sept 27, 2014): At least 46 elected US officials, including a Governor and 45 Congress members, have confirmed their participation at a reception hosted by Indian-Americans for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will address the gathering at the iconic Madison Square Garden.

Modi will address the community tomorrow at a packed Madison Square Garden, while speaking from a 360-degree rotating platform, and those in attendance would include over 16,000 general public and about 2,600 VIP guests including a Governor, Senators and other elected officials in the US.

Releasing the list of confirmed participation, the organisers Indian American Community Foundation (IACF) said this would include South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, the first woman and second Indian-American governor in the US.

The three confirmed Senators are Robert Menendez, also Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee of US Senate, Joe Donnelly and Cory Booker.

There would be 42 House of Representative members including Steny Hoyer, Democratic whip in the House, Frank Pallone, founder of the House India Caucus and Eliot Engel, Ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The list also includes Ami Bera, the first Gujarati American in the US Congress and Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu in the US Congress.

Other Congress members who have confirmed presence are Nita Lowey, Jim McDermott,Jerrold Nadler, Sanford Bishop, Carolyn Maloney, Ed Royce, Chaka Fattah, Pete Sessions, Sheila Jackson Lee, Joe Crowley, Gregory Meeks, Steve Israel and Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

The list includes elected officials from both Democratic and Republican parties.

The organisers said that the invitations were sent to all the elected officials of the US for the event, but all of them, including Indian-origin Bobby Jindal may not be able to come due to the intense election season currently underway in the country.

Besides the main venue, there would be at least 50 other locations across the country where special arrangements have been made for the live telecast of the Prime Minister's speech and other events that include a nearly two-hour long entertainment programme.

There is a tremendous interest in the community in the US-India relationship and the event at Madison Square Garden has been oversubscribed by more than 10,000 people.

At 16.4 per cent, Indian-Americans are the third largest Asian-American group in the US, numbering 2.8 million strong, which is almost 1 per cent of the US population.