New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy hosts Indian-Americans before historic re-election bid

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Top community leaders, including Dr Raj Pandya, Dr H R Shah and Sunil Hali, interact with the governor and give feedback about the community

Our Bureau
New Jersey, NJ

Phil Murphy, one of the most popular governors of New Jersey, set his campaign march for upcoming re-election bid with an evening at his private waterfront residence in Red Bank on Sunday, September 19. The governor welcomed Indian-Americans to share his plans and receive feedback from community leaders. The event was organized under the leadership of Dr H R Shah, Chairman and CEO of TV Asia, with strong support from Dr Raj Pandya, Dr Nimisha Shukla and Kenny Desai among others.

Attended by about 100 members of the community, cream de la creme who all have engaged with the governor in last four years, provided inputs to build a strong bond with one of the most important communities in New Jersey. Indian-Americans are fastest growing immigrant group in New Jersey with highest density. The diverse Indian-American community deals in small business, medicine, technology, media, finance, pharmaceutical among others. Many heads of community organizations were also present to share their input.

Governor Murphy spoke at length to share his vision as he sets out to create a record 2nd term by a democrat. “I think that almost no other community is growing at this rate as Indian-Americans. And you feel the community in so many respects in medicine, and academics, in business, in media, in culture, in education. And it’s interesting, we have one of the largest Indian communities of any American state. But it’s important to remember we are the most densely populated American state. So, let’s assume California has a few thousands more in the community than New Jersey has. But California is 19 and a half times geographically is larger than New Jersey. We all live on top of each other. We really do it. So, when you go to Edison or say, or some of the other big hubs for the Indian American community, we’re all in there together. And I think that’s a great asset that New Jersey has,” Governor Murphy said.  

“Now, are there bad apples out there who want to divide us? Yes. And we’ll go after them as hard as we can. But for the most part, because we’re all on top of each other, we’d much more quickly in New Jersey, find common ground, we find that we can, hey, walk in the other guy shoes, exchange cultural or religious ideas. And that’s a huge benefit of any other state that America has that attribute that New Jersey has, it’s why we are forget the fact we’re among if not the most diverse state in America, we’re the most international our mindset. We have, I’ll tell you one last data point, we have more kids to take foreign language per capita than any state in America. And it’s not even close to that tells you something about our mindset and who we are. So, from the bottom of my heart, we have some of our dearest closest friends in this community. And indeed, some of them are standing right with us as we speak. We cannot thank you enough for the help tonight. You’ve been there from the get go. Our job is not done. That’s why we’re running for re-election. Our job is not complete. We have still much, much of a road still to travel. You’ve been shoulder to shoulder with us. We’ve had your back and you’ve had our back and I promise it it’ll stay that way. God bless you all and thanks,” the governor added in his remarks.

Dr Raj Pandya, who heads L&T, one of the most prestigious Indian Technology conglomerate in the US, spoke at length. Said Dr Pandya, “We need you to be there for more number of years, just what one or two times maybe more terms. go up not any big success successor and then moves to the federal level. And I was about to come to that because many of us may or may not be aware. At our home three, four years back, I didn’t know you that well. And I reached out to Dr. Shukla, she was kind enough to introduce me to you. We had a debate whether I should get into politics at my level a little bit, and my son should get it on. And I’ll let him speak for two minutes for him. But for me, I found my portfolio pretty familiar and similar to yours. 23 years of Goldman Sachs, you handled multiple senior level positions, multibillion dollar 300 and $400 billion of budget across the globe,” Dr Pandya said

Dr Pandya spoke about the governor’s background and work in New Jersey. “He was based out of Hong Kong, Europe, he managed a lot of complex situations. And America, Goldman Sachs, he was one of the founding members who brought Goldman Sachs today to this level. So, he had a wonderful, wonderful corporate journey, Still, he decided to be in community service. So, I give him a big round of applause. And I really am I know from Coleman, six days, you are a supporter, without your support, he was not a successful businessman or a politician as well. And the second one is the role model. I think he’s a great role model for people like me, my son, who will talk about it, but also, he has handled multiple complex situations in politics, diplomacy and also corporate, one of your famous lines have picked up is you have always mentioned that there could be two people who may not get along with each other. And they may have differences of opinion, God bless them, let them continue our fights. But he said I’ll be the third one in the middle the three of us will work out a deal which is good for the community as a whole corporation as a whole New Jersey state as a whole that deal making or that kind of an approach has made. Okay. Just want to thank you for everything. wish you best of luck and prosperity good success and we will win with huge majority I hope so thank you,” he said.

Dr Nimisha Shukla shared her thoughts which were almost clinical and related to promises Governor had made vs how he had fared. She urged him to make education free at Rutgers for economically challenged. She brought his attention to medical field which has 10% Indian-Americans yet no position in his administration. She hoped he ensures it’s done in his second term.

Yash Pandya who ran for school board in Edison in 2020 said he looks up to Governor Murphy as an inspiration and hopes to emulate his qualities in his career ahead.

Dr H R Shah praised Governor Murphy for his service to the state. He related to him as a personal friend. Other leaders, who spoke included Kenny Desai, a real estate developer. Many leaders present at the event applauded the governor though wished they could do a one-on-one with him to learn more about his plans. These included Bipin Patel, Anil Bansal, Nilesh Dasondi, Dipak Shah, Sunil Hali, Seema Jagtiani, Vijay Garg, Kanu Patel, Colonel Tavathia. Young and upcoming entrepreneur Sam Singh endeared himself to Governor when his wife Rani invited Governor and First Lady to their home.

Vikas Nangia of TV Asia hosted the evening in his inimitable style and engaged the guests.

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