By Surekha Vijh
WASHINGTON: Virginia Republican Party leaders gathered in Tyson’s Corner, Fairfax County, to celebrate Diwali, recognizing the Indian American community and their contribution to many professional fields. Fairfax County boasts the second largest concentration of the information technology (IT) sector after Silicon, with Indians making up a huge chunk of professionals.
Among the participants were high-level candidates and delegates, including Mark Obenshain, candidate for Virginia Attorney General, Delegate Tom Rust, Delegate Barbara Comstock, Mrs. Tiero Cuccinelli who is the wife of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, candidate for Governor of Virginia challenging Democrat Terry McAuliffe. The election will be held Tuesday, November 5.
Jay McConville, Chair of Fairfax County Republicans, former Congressman Artur Davis and Anthony Reedy, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia, were also present.
Pointing out that one of the great blessings in his 86th district was its rich diversity, economic, religious and geographical prosperity, State Delegate Rust said he enjoyed working with Indians. “They are high tech community, very bright people,” he said.
He said in his district the Indian American community was always represented on the table. “ We have in the past taken trade missions to India. We want to do more. Let’s keep our economy moving forward,” he added, asking the Indian community to get involved in the elections.
Tiero Cuccinelli, speaking about her husband and VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli who is contesting for governor, said that there were some negative ads about Ken and they are playing with women’s emotions.
“My husband is a good man and loves serving people,” she said, adding that she met him when she was 14-year-old. She said her husband was concerned about people’s prosperity, their freedom of speech, their religious freedom and their other rights. “This is my first Diwali celebration and want to celebrate more with you.” she added
Former Congressman Artur Davis said he wanted to salute Ken Cuccinelli, Jackson and Mark Obernshain who made a good team for Virginia.
“The opposition talks about helping the poor, but we want to raise them out of poverty.”
He said he believed in Republican values. “Let’s put the commonwealth on path to success,” he added.
Mark Obenshain said that they were fighting for the diversity. “We want to win with your help.”
Barbara Comstock said her district had thriving Indian American population with a large IT community. “They are here to develop their professional and family life. We will work with you in your journey,” she said.
Comstock said Indians valued good education system “When your kids are studying hard, they should get admitted to the best schools.” she said “Lets keep the promise of Thomas Jefferson High School on a merit basis.”
Speaking about transportation and crime issues, Comstock said her government was working with the community. “Let’s crack down on crime together. Let’s keep our children free of fear” she added.
Monika Samtani, traffic reporter from Washington DC’s Channel 9 news, explained the meaning and history of Diwali which was a triumph of goodness over evil and wished people “Happy Diwali.”
She said that Diwali is all about relationships, caring for others, creating awareness and “it was a unifying event.”
Puneet Ahluwalia, Vice Chair, Fairfax County Republicans, hosted and coordinated the event.
The program started with Sikh, Hindu and Christian prayers followed by US National Anthem sung by Young Amad Ahluwalia.
The participants were treated to nice Indian snacks and cuisine at Bombay Tandoor, the Indian restaurant in Viena.
The event was sponsored by the Republican National Committee, the Republican Party of Virginia and the Fairfax County Republican Committee.
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