Indian parliamentarians congratulate Obama

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New Delhi/Trupati/Jalandhar, Nov 5 : Indian parliamentarians have congratulated Democrat Barack Obama on winning the elections and making history by becoming the first black President of the US.

He defeated the Republican John McCain to enter the White House.

Be it the ruling Congress party or the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), both said that the friendship and the strategic partnership between the two largest democratic countries of the world is strengthened.

Vishnu Prakash, External Affairs ministry spokesperson spoke about the congratulatory messages of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Devisingh Patil.

"We look forward to strengthening the partnership between India and the USA and continuing the close engagement that we have developed in recent years both in bilateral cooperation and in addressing global issues of common concern," said Prakash.

The External Affairs Ministry said in its statement that Obama's journey to the White House would inspire people not only in his country but also around the world.

Anand Sharma, Minister of State for External Affairs said that both republicans and the democrats have been in favour of the controversial civil nuclear deal between the two nations and there shouldn't be any reason for any worry on these grounds.

"As far as the nuclear deal cooperation is concerned, republicans and democrats have favoured us equally. We don't think there should be any slowdown in the pace," said Sharma.

Meanwhile, Lal Krishna Advani, BJP leader pinned his political aspirations to the US presidential elections and said that he would like to see a change of mindset in the Indian voters which is similar to that of the American voters who voted Obama to power, the first ever black president.

"People of India also need to change their mindset the way we have seen in the American elections. In the forthcoming general elections, Indian voters should usher in a change and vote for a change, something similar to that of America," said Advani.

Celebrations erupted across India as the election result was announced.

Indians from Punjab who have made United States their second home and have been living there since decades said they were happy for Obama.

"We are all excited about Obama's victory. It is a very good change and we all hope that this particular change, it will make everybody happy, it will bring some positive things, there are concepts, there are complex, there are doubts whether the relation will stay with India will be the same like before the president and everything, but I am sue that it will improve. I think India has shown its worth, Indian people are very capable, America needs India, India needs America," said Mahindeer Singh of Berkley, California.

Obama will be sworn in as the 44th U.S. president on January 20, 2009. He will face a crush of immediate challenges, from tackling an economic crisis to ending the war in Iraq and striking a compromise on overhauling the health care system.

The win by Obama, son of a black father from Kenya and white mother from Kansas, marked a milestone in U.S. history. It came 45 years after the height of the civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King.

In a campaign dominated at the end by a flood of bad news on the economy, Obama's leadership and proposals on how to handle the crisis tipped the race in his favour.

Exit polls showed six of every ten voters listed the economy as the top issue.

ANI

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