Isaac to affect speeches of Indian-American Republican stars
Washington: Tropical storm Isaac, forecast to become a hurricane, is likely to affect the speeches of the Republican Party's three Indian-American stars - Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley and Ricky Gill - after the postponement of the first day of the party's national convention in Florida.
This is for the first time in the history of the Republican conventions that three Indian Americans were invited to address the party delegates, reflecting the growing political clout of this small ethnic community in the US.
"Due to the severe weather reports for the Tampa Bay area, the Republican National Convention will convene on Monday August 27th and immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon, August 28th," Republican National Convention (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.
As a result of the changes, the new schedules are being worked out and would be announced soon, RNC officials said during a conference call.
Jindal, who was busy attending fund raising events for Mitt Romney - the Republican presidential candidate - in Iowa said that he would cancel his trip to Tampa if the tropical storm hits his state of Louisiana.
Governor of Louisiana, Jindal is one of the prime time speakers of the Republican National Convention on Tuesday.
The convention was scheduled to begin tomorrow, but threatened by the tropical storm Issac, which is likely to reach hurricane force strength today, the Republican National Convention (RNC) yesterday announced to cancel its convention and is now scheduled to begin a day later on Tuesday; thus throwing the entire programme in a disarray.
"If there's any chance that our people's safety is at risk, our first priority will be to be at home. If there's a chance it's coming our way, I'll be at home," Jindal was quoted as saying by DesMoines Register in Iowa, where he was on Saturday evening to attend a fund raiser.
Jindal was forced to cancel his attendance at the last Republican convention in 2008 because of Hurricane Gustav.
South Carolina's Indian-American Governor Nikki Haley's prime time speech tomorrow now stands cancelled; so does the speech of Ranjit "Ricky" Gill ? branded as one of the "Young Gun" for the Republican Party.
Contesting Congressional elections from California,
an invitation to address the national convention is considered to be a major achievement for Gill, who is just 25.
Both Haley and Gill would now have to wait for the new schedule to be announced, as RNC officials said they were trying their best to accommodate all the Monday speakers into the other three days of the convention.
A Haley spokesman was quoted as saying by the local media that the South Carolina Governor was still scheduled to speak at the convention although the schedule is in flux.
Issac storm also forced US Vice President Joe Biden to cancel his election campaign trip to Florida next week as both state and federal authorities braced themselves for the upcoming hurricane in this State which is hosting the four-day Republican national convention in Tampa.
Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency to prepare for the storm.
Early today, the storm was around 545 kilometers east-southeast of Key West, Florida and it was moving northwest at 28 kilometers per hour, with forecasts suggesting it would strengthen over the next 48 hours, the National Hurrican Centre said.