Washington: Tulsi Gabbard, who trailed behind her nearest rival by over 40 points a few months ago in the race for the Congressional seat from Honolulu, has now taken a narrow but crucial lead of five points in the latest polls, brightening prospects for the first Hindu to be elected to the US House of Representatives.
In a dramatic turnaround, 31-year-old Tulsi has eclipsed Mufi Hannemann and is now the frontrunner in the race to succeed Representatives Mazie Hirono in House, said the prestigious Mellman Group, releasing its latest round of opinion polls.
The seat became vacant as Hirono has opted to run for the US senate this year.
Ahead of the Democratic primary election in Hawaii`s second congressional district on August 11, Tulsi, a Honolulu city council woman, now holds a five-point lead over Hannemann, former Honolulu mayor — 37% for Tulsi and 32% from Hannemann, said the Mellman Group. "This represents a sea change in the race since our previous poll, conducted in April, where Hannemann led Tulsi by 26 points.
Indeed, Tulsi`s share of the vote has increased 21 points, while Hannemann has actually shed 10 points in the last three months," the group said. A confident Tulsi says she is on her way to victory, though she conceded that it would be a close race. Proud of her Hindu religion, she is not Indian nor of Indian heritage. Her father Mike Gabbard is currently Hawaii state senator and mother Carol Porter Gabbard is an educator and business owner.
Currently a Company Commander with the Hawaii Army National Guard, who has volunteered to serve on two deployments to the Middle East, Tulsi was Hawaii`s youngest state representative in 2002 and is the youngest woman in the USA to be elected to such a position. The turnaround has raised prospects of her being elected to the House.
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Leading NRI Lord Khalid Hameed has been given the Freedom of the City of London award in recognition of his work within the medical profession and in promotion of interfaith relations. India`s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru was also conferred the honour when he visited London in 1956.