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India Caucus calls for PM Modi to address U.S. Congress

Reps. Ro Khanna and Michael Waltz called on the House speaker to invite PM Modi to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress during his visit

(L-R) Congressmen Ro Khanna and Michael Waltz.

Congressmen Ro Khanna and Michael Waltz, the co-chairs of the influential Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans have urged the Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a joint session of the Congress during his state visit to the United States.

In a letter to the Speaker, the lawmakers highlighted the significance of the US-India relationship, and said that Modi’s  address will further enhance the bilateral ties. “We respectfully request your consideration in inviting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a joint address to the Congress, highlighting the significance of the U.S.-India strategic partnership and the shared values upon which it is built,” the letter read.

Since President Biden invited the Indian Prime Minister for a State Visit and a State Dinner, the Congressmen reasoned, “As State Dinners have come to signify the President's utmost respect for visiting heads of state, granting a joint address is a commensurate honour for the leader of the world's largest democracy and perhaps the most critical partner to countering China in the 21st century.”

Their letter underlined the multi-dimensional deep cooperation and ties between both the world’s oldest and largest democracies including trade, investment and dedication to a resilient international order that safeguards the sovereignty, upholds democratic values, and promotes peace and prosperity for all.

Stressing on the impact Modi’s address could have on the people-to-people ties between the two countries, the Congressmen said, “The four million-strong Indian American diaspora and vibrant educational exchanges between our countries exemplify the deep connection and potential for collaboration. Such ties are a tremendous source of strength and serve as a solid foundation for our strategic partnership.”

Further recognising India's significance in the Quad and as an important partner in the Indo -Pacific, the Congressmen concluded, “We believe that a joint address to Congress would provide an invaluable opportunity for members on both sides of the aisle to engage in constructive dialogue on matters of mutual interest and concern.”