California, Dec 14: Democrat RO Khanna does not want history to be repeated for himself and the state of California in the primary elections to be held in June.
He ran for California's 17th Congressional District in 2014 and ran behind fellow democrat Mike Honda, fighting for the same district, by about 5,000 votes. Khanna owns this to the fact that Indian communities in his district, which include a major part of Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale, Cupertino and Santa Clara, along with San Jose, Milpitas, Fremont and Newark, did not come out and vote.
A teacher of economics at the Stanford University and law at the Santa Clara University School of Law, Khanna vows to enhance the education system here. He said,"There has been a surge in interest among the Indian American community. This will generate more excitement and turnout at the polls" in both June for the primary and November for the general election."
"This is a great opportunity for the Indian American community to have representation. Indian Americans have so much to contribute. The India-U.S. relationship can improve the country and I'm trying to get the community engaged," he further added.
He promises to make education more affordable upon graduation and make it debt-free. He also said that California students should get priority U.C. admission over out-of-state applicants. Public schooling systems also need refurbishments so that students get a good experience.
Apart from this, his other main agendas include a better economy, equality for women, safeguarding the environment and strengthening and defending Social Security and Medicare.
Lashing out at his competitor and fellow Democrat Mike Honda, he said that the latter's election campaign in 2014 scapegoated the Indian-American community.
He said in an interview with India-West,"He ought to be ashamed of himself. He lost his dignity the way he lashed out. The ads in the 2014 campaign suggested that I would outsource jobs to India. He lost his dignity the way he lashed out. ... The Indian American community won't stand for those types of attacks." The Indian American community won't stand for those types of attacks."
He further added that he is well-equipped to face Honda this year, barring the finances required for the campaign. He said that he needs $2 million more and has already collected $1.6 million for the campaign to counter Mike's campaign.
"We need a politician looking out for the community. Honda isn't engaged as much while I'm very entrenched in local community, grassroots issues," said Khanna. "This is the most important district in the country and the world, because of all the tech companies," he asserted. "A young Indian American representing this district would be huge."