Former Indian ambassador to China, Gautam Bambawale said the bilateral ties between India and the US are not going to be affected and will only continue to grow stronger irrespective of who emerges victorious in the US presidential polls.
Republican President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden are seeking the minimum 270 out of the 538 electoral votes needed to win the White House.
While Biden is leading marginally in overall Electoral College vote tally, Trump has already claimed victory and has said he will move the Supreme Court to dispute the process of counting.
“The elections results are neck to neck so far. There are a few states left still and they are important as either of the two candidates can win. It really is for American people to decide who their president will be. India will work with either Trump or Biden,” Bambawale said.
“India-US relations is going to continue on the current trends which are getting stronger and stronger irrespective of whether Biden or Trump wins. Our partnership is going to strengthen,” he added.
He further said that the bonhomie, which was shared between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Trump, would be replicated in his relation with Biden, if he gets elected.
“Modi had a very good relationship with Trump but even if Biden becomes the President of the US the relation will be equally good and as close. Between nations, anyways, personal bonds play a role upto a certain point and not beyond that. In those terms there are very strong drivers of the closer India-US partnership and those are already at work,” he said.
“Even if Biden gets elected President, Prime Minister Modi will be able to develop a very good rapport, friendship with him,” he added.
However, Bambawale said that the Democratic Party’s vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris’ India connection should not be given much importance as she is an American citizen and has her country’s best interests in mind.
“Kamala Harris is an American citizen and it will be totally wrong on our part to expect any kind of difference because she has a mother of Indian origin, or Indian origins. Keeping that aside, we should not have those kinds of expectations, but of course, even if Biden becomes President and Kamala Harris become Vice-President of the US, the situation and the drivers of the India-US are such that there will be a closer partnership between the two countries,” Bambawale said.
“She is a US national, she has American interests as her priority and those American interests today are very similar to Indian interests, so we will be able to work together,” he added.