India: The newest "red" state?

India's business community is strongly pro-Bush but Indians living in the U.S. may go for Kerry.

With Americans lining up at the polls today, newspaper reports out of India show strong corporate support for George Bush's re-election. Democratic challenger John Kerry is viewed with some suspicion by the Indian business community because of his sharp criticism of offshoring.

The local correspondent for Agence France Press quotes Amit Verma, an economist at the Confederation of Indian Industry, saying that Bush's "return to power would be good for India as he is for outsourcing to low-cost countries like India."

Business sentiment on the sub-continent notwithstanding, the votes of Indian Americans remain up for grabs in swing states like Ohio.

Ramesh Kapur, chair of the Indo-American Leadership Council of the Democratic National Committee, told the Times of India the 50,000 Indians who live in Ohio will vote Democratic today.

"There are 50,000 Indians in Ohio and 80 per cent of them are registered and I believe 75 per cent are going to vote for Kerry," he said. "They are fed up with the Iraq war and the double standards on democracy when it comes to Pakistan. They think President Bush is putting the Christian Coalition front and centre, and they don't like (Attorney General John) Ashcroft," said Kapur, who lives in Kerry's home state of Massachusetts.

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