Bobby Jindal moves closer to announcing US presidential bid

 Setting his sights on the White House, Indian-American Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has formed an exploratory committee to look into the possibility of mounting a credible challenge as a Republican nominee for the 2016 US presidential bid.

Washington: Setting his sights on the White House, Indian-American Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has formed an exploratory committee to look into the possibility of mounting a credible challenge as a Republican nominee for the 2016 US presidential bid.

If Jindal, 43, announces to go ahead with his plans, he would be the first ever Indian-American politician to run for a US presidential election. In doing so, he would join the already crowded Republican presidential aspirants.

Forming an exploratory committee is considered to be the first serious step toward a presidential bid. The Republican Governor, however, said he would make a final decision on a White House bid after his state's legislative session ends in mid-June.

"My parents came to this country over 40 years ago with nothing but the belief that America is the land of freedom and opportunity. They were right," Jindal said on his website announcing the formation of the Bobby Jindal Exploratory Committee.

"We must fight to make sure the next generation is not the first generation to inherit fewer opportunities than their parents. Will you join me?" Jindal asked on the home page of the website with the headline 'Ready'.

Jindal said that if he runs, his candidacy would be based on the idea the American people "are ready to try a dramatically different direction."

"If I run, my candidacy will be based on the idea that the American people are ready to try a dramatically different direction. Not a course correction, but a dramatically different path," he said in a statement.

Jindal, a former congressman who started his career in public service as Louisiana's health secretary, also tried to strike a difference between himself and other Republican leaders by describing policy plans he has released on health care, defence, energy and education. 

"While other Republican leaders are talking about change, I have published detailed plans to repeal and replace Obamacare, rebuild America's defences, make America energy independent, and reform education for our nation's children," Jindal said.

Nearly half a dozen Republican leaders including Jeb Bush have already announced their intentions to run in 2016.

The winner of the trough primary race is expected to fight for the top post against Hillary Clinton, who is currently the only major Democratic candidate to have announced a 2016 bid.

"For some time now, my wife Supriya and I have been thinking and praying about whether to run for the presidency of our great nation. We'll make a final decision in June," the Indian-American leader said. 

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