Saturday, January 23, 2021

Biden, Kamal greet people celebrating Diwali

Washington: US President-elect Joe Biden and his deputy Kamala Harris have separately greeted million of people celebrating Diwali. In a tweet on Saturday evening, Biden, 77, has sent his good wishes to the people celebrating the festival of lights across the world.  “To the millions of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists celebrating the Festival of Lights, Dr. Biden and I send our best wishes for a Happy Diwali. May your new year be filled with hope, happiness, and prosperity, Sal Mubarak (sic),” Joe Biden said on Twitter.

Joe Biden, who had beaten President Donald Trump in a nail-baiting counting of votes just a week ago in the presidential race, will be the oldest person to occupy the White House. The vice-president-elect Kamala Harrish also wrote on the Twitter her greetings, “Happy Diwali and Sal Mubarak! @DouglsEmhoff and I wish everyone celebrating around the world a safe, healthy and joyous new year.”

I won’t be the last woman in the office: Kamala

Kamala Harris had created history by being the first ever woman to become vice-president and also first ever black person to occupy the exalted office. She remembered her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, in an emotional speech symbolizing her victory. Her mother was of Indian origin, from Chennai to be precise. “My mother when she landed in the US at the age of 19 may not have believed that a moment like this would happen. But she (mother) deeply believed that it could happen in America,” Kamala said. “I am thinking about her and generations of women, black women, Asian, White, Latina, Native American women who throughout our nation’s history have paved the way for this moment tonight,” said at a rally in Joe Biden’s home city of Wilmington, Delaware last week. The 57-year-old vice-president-elect said, “I may be the first woman in the office, but I won’t be the last.”

Trump coming around

Donald Trump lost his election for a second straight term in a bitterly contested election where the result was declared on the fourth day after the vote counting began, the announcement was made by a news agency, Associated Press. Even on Sunday, President Trump refused to yield by accepting the defeat. Trump continued with his claim that the elections were rigged. On Friday, however, Trump had conceded a bit when he said he would never again call for a lock down to confront corona virus. He said, “Hopefully…. Whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration it will be, I guess time will tell.”

Arizona in Biden’s kitty

Meanwhile, the President-elect has been working on taking over the administration. He has begun the transition at the White House. He had won Arizona as well.  US network said late on Thursday that Arizona has gone to the democratic candidate further cementing his lead in the Electoral College, declared NBC, CBS, ABC and CNN. Biden had a lead of more than 11,000 ballots, giving him the State’s 11 Electoral College votes. Associated Press and Fox News, generally favouring Republican Party, have given the southwestern State to the democratic candidate very early in the counting. With Arizona in his kitty, Biden widened his lead further with 290-217 much more than the required magic figure of 270. Despite Biden being declared winner, Donald Trump refused to concede and continued to made allegations of fraud. The results from North Carolina and Georgia are yet to be announced.

Ronal Klain to be chief of staff

Biden announced last week that his former top aide Ronald Klain would be his new chief of staff. Klain, a democratic operative, worked with Biden earlier. He has served as chief of staff to two vice-presidents – Biden and Al Gore. Biden also spoke to Indo-Pacific leaders. While speaking with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Biden has underscored his deep commitment to the defense of Japan. He had similar chat with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. He also spoke to South Korean leaders.

China congratulates Biden at last After a week of silence, China has congratulated Biden and Harris at last. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, “We respect the choice of the American people. We express our congratulations to Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris.” Like many countries in the world, China too had put its bet on Hillary Clinton in 2016. This time the Chinese were extra careful in their reaction. The spokesman did not refer to Biden as President-elect.

Also Read: How should India look at Biden?

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