US Elections 2020: Locals in Kamala Harris' ancestral village in Tamil Nadu pray for her success; see pics
ANI Collage by FPJ

As millions of US citizens queue up to vote for their next President and his deputy, the people of Thulasenthirapuram in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday prayed for the success of Kamala Harris, Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee, who has a connect to this small village.

Posters were put up in many parts of the village in Tiruvarur district in the state wishing Harris success, with locals holding special prayers seeking divine intervention.

The Democrats and Republicans face-off in a bitter fight in the race to the White House in the US.

Joe Biden, the Democratic challenger for President Donald Trump, had earlier nominated Harris, born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother, both immigrants, as his running mate.

Harris' maternal grandfather PV Gopalan, a former diplomat, is a native of the village and the locals are keen to see his grand daughter come out in flying colours in the polls.

Special prayers, attended by the villagers, were held at the local Dharmasastha temple for Harris.

"She has to win and that is all we want. Her win will be a proud moment for India, Tamil Nadu and more importantly our village," a local in Thulasenthirapuram who attended the special prayers told the media.

Banners were also put in her ancestral village in Thulasenthirapuram wishing her luck ahead of voting.

"From Thulasenthirapuram to America. US vice president candidate contestant from the native origin of Thulasenthirapuram Kamala Harris, we wish her great success," read the posters (roughly translated from Tamil).

Harris was born to a Jamaican father and an Indian mother Shyamala Gopalan, who was born in Chennai before she moved to the US for further study. Shyamala was a leading cancer researcher and activist.

Harris's maternal grandfather was born in Thulasenthirapuram, located about 320 km south of the city of Chennai. Shyamala was the daughter of PV Gopalan, a high-ranking civil servant.

California Senator Harris, if elected, would be the first woman vice president ever for the US.

Harris is the first Indian-American to be elected district attorney of San Francisco, the first South Asian American to become a US senator and if elected on November 3, she will be the first person of Indian descent to hold a major political office in the United States.

55-year-old Kamala began her career in the 1990s at the Alameda County District Attorney's Office in the city of Oakland and later became the first woman of colour in 2011 to serve as California's attorney general.

While the timings for opening and closing of polling stations vary in different states and cities in the US, most polls would begin around 6 am (4:30 pm IST) on November 3.

More than 94 million Americans had already cast their ballots by Monday, a record for early voting Joe Biden is currently leading Donald Trump in the national polls as the US approaches its 2020 presidential election.

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Free Press Journal