By Rajender Dichpally
Indian National Overseas Congress-I (INOC-I) hosted senior Congress leader and Member of Parliament Ashwani Kumar here on Monday. Kumar has been in the US to deliver guest lectures at the top universities.
Welcoming the senior Congress leader from India, INOC Chairman Shudh Parkash Singh briefed him on the activities of the Indian National Overseas Congress in the US. Shudh Parkash Singh also explained to him how for the first time he initiated the process of democratic elections held last year. This was as per the advice of Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Department of the Congress Party Dr Karan Singh.
He said the voters and candidates had come from California, Texas, Florida, Washington, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and New York. “Democratization of the Party was initiated by Rahul Gandhi first time in India and we did so for the first time in the USA,” he added.
In her address, INOC President Lavika Bhagat Singh said “we are proud to have such a learned man in our midst and looking for his long-term guidance and support to grow the awareness of the INOC and make every Indian aware as to what the Congress Party has done for India that it stands right next to the United States in all its power.”
She said “the US-India partnership is one to contend with in the future and they will remain strong allies to contend with despite all upheavals that may irk the world in the future.
Lavika Bhagat Singh also spoke of her desire to host a major event next year in Washington D.C. to bring Congress economic policies in focus.INOC General Secretary Rajender Dichapally made a presentation to the former minister and senior Congress leader and explained how this seminar would build stronger US-India relations and foster closer ties and lead to better trade and bring prosperity between the two nations.
Among others, INOC Vice Presidents — Phuman Singh and Ravi Chopra — also interacted with Ashwani Kumar. Gurmeet Singh Gill, President Punjab Chapter, said he would be happy to participate in the electionc campaign to ensure the victory of the Congress Party in Punjab.
Visiting dignitary Ashwani Kumar said that he aims to project Congress party and its policies in favorite light through a series of meetings he would be delivering in the US, Canada and the UK. INOC Joint Secretary Gurminder Singh Talwandi proposed a vote of thanks. The meeting ended with a sumptuous dinner.
Ashwani Kumar represents the Indian National Congress party from Punjab in the Rajya Sabha. He has been nominated as the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests in September 2014. He has also been nominated as Member of the General Purposes Committee of Rajya Sabha and Member of the Consultative Committee for Ministry of Defence in January 2015.
He has held key ministerial portfolios in the UPA government, including Ministry of Law and Justice; Parliamentary Affairs; Science and Technology and Ministry of Planning. In 1991, at the age of 37 he was appointed one of the youngest Additional Solicitor General of India. He has served as Indian National Congress party’s National Spokesperson and Chairman of its Vichar Vibhag. He has been a member of the Rajya Sabha since 2002.