Jindal creates history; wins race for Louisiana

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Washington, Oct 21 (UNI) Indian-American Bobby Jindal was elected as Louisiana Governor, becoming America's youngest and Louisianas first non-white to hold the position.

Mr Jindal(36), who belongs to Republican party, defeated eleven opponents, including his nearest Democratic rival Walter Boasso.

He secured 53 per cent votes of the 92 per cent counted so far, polling 625,036 votes with about 92 per cent of the vote tallied and will be sworn in as Governonr in January.

It was more than enough to win the election outright, ruling out the need for a November 17 runoff.

Mr Boasso got 208,690 votes which was the 18 per cent of the votes polled.

Louisiana is the United States' poorest state. Jindal, a son of Indian-American, said, ''My mom and dad came to this country in pursuit of the American dream. And guess what happened. They found the American Dream to be alive and well right here in Louisiana.'' Jindal's is the classic American success story. His parents came from New Delhi to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1971.

His father was a civil engineer and his mother studied at Louisiana State University, getting a degree in nuclear physics.

The local Indian-American community which played an an active role in his campaign, hailed his victory.

President of the Indian American Leadership Initiative President Jay Chaudhuri said, ''Bobby Jindal replaces the Mardi Gras Indians as the best known Indian from Louisiana. We congratulate him for providing Indian-Americans a seat of the table'' ''The test over the next four years is whether he is the right person for the seat. We hope that Governor Jindal proceeds with caution on social policies such as mandatory prayer in school which will be troubling to many Indian-Americans,'' Mr Chaudhuri said in a statement.

The Oxford-educated Jindal had lost the governor's race four years ago to Gov. Kathleen Blanco but a year later he won a congressional seat in conservative suburban New Orleans to become the first Indian-American elected to the US Congress in 50 years after Dilip Singh Saund.

He pledged to fight corruption and rid the state of those ''feeding at the public trough,'' revisiting a campaign theme.

Jindal's victory is all the more significant because among his opponents included two multimillionaires who poured millions of their own money into their elections campaigns.

Jindal graduated from Brown University with a honors in biology and public policy and was also a Rhodes scholar, securing a graduate degree from Oxford University.

He and his wife Supriya both embraced Christianity and are Catholics. He converted to Catholicism as a teenager.

UNI

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