"It's our second year, and I believe this going to continue as a tradition into perpetuity," Joe Crowley Democratic Congressman and Co-Chair of Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans told a gathering at the Rayburn House in the US Capitol.

For the Indian-Americans, it was a special Diwali too as the news of re-election of Ami Bera from the seventh Congressional District of California came while the festival of lights was being celebrated at the Hill.     

Bera is the only serving Indian American in the current Congress. He was declared winner by a wafer-thin margin of a little over 1400 votes in one of the closest races in California.

Bera and Crowley were joined by several other lawmakers in lighting of lamp and Diwali celebrations at the Capitol Hill.     

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Senator Mark Warner and Congressman Ed Royce Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee also attended the function.
    
"It is an exciting time in the US-India relationship," Crowley said.
    
"India has become a global power, and the US is happy about that. I am personally happy about it. And, we want to see it continue," he said.
    
"The India Caucus is going to play a critical role in our relations going forward, whether it is forging ties between our Congress and their parliament, securing hate crimes protections for Hindus and Sikhs here at home, and much more," he added.

Crowley said it is time that India join the UN Security Council as a permanent member.

"With nearly one-fifth the world's population, India should be a member already. So let's find a way to make that happen," he said.
    
"Events like tonight help lay the groundwork for this type of action. Because tonight isn't about having a party – it's about learning about one another, respecting differences, and being proud of our unique traditions. This is what we stand for as a country," Crowley said.

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