Indian-origin state legislators divided over Democratic nominees

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Washington, Feb 28 (UNI) State legislators of Indian-origin in the United States appeared to be divided in their support either for Senator Hillary Clinton or Senator Barack Obama--both of whom are engaged in a bitter fight for Democratic nomination for the 2009 presidential election.

According to a survey conducted by an organisation, the Indian American Leadership Initiative (IALI), Iowa State House Representative Swati Dandekar endorsed Ms Clinton last August.

But, Kansas Representative Raj Goyal and Maryland House Majority Leader Kumar Barve backed Mr Obama.

However, other state legislators of Indian origin are neutral, and they might elect to stay that way. They include Minnesota State Senator Satveer Chaudhury, New Jersey Representative Upendra Chivukula, and Ohio State Representative Jay Goyal.

Meanwhile, Mr Goyal was this week named Ranking Member of the Ohio House Ways and Means Committee, the standing committee responsible for all bills which require a change in tax law, property foreclosures and other issues such as Homestead Exemption expansion.

The Committee hears testimony, amends bills and reports to the House of Representatives on its work.

As Ranking Member, Rep Goyal would serve as the lead voice on the Committee for the House Democratic Caucus.

''I am humbled and honoured to accept this great responsibility,'' Rep Goyal said.

''It emboldens my love of public service and the good I feel I can contribute to move Ohio forward. I would not take this position lightly; I plan to use my new standing to fight for the causes that matter to our working families so that they can live better lives,'' he said.

UNI XC PD PM0911

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