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Washington, D.C. - USINPAC today congratulated India's senior politician Mrs. Pratibha Patil on behalf of the two-million-plus strong Indian American community on becoming the nation's first woman President. With Mrs. Hillary Rodham-Clinton cementing her place as one of the frontrunners for the 2008 U.S. Presidential elections, both of the world's largest democracies could possibly have a woman as their Head of State for the first time in their respective histories.

USINPAC Chairman Sanjay Puri said: "The election of Mrs. Pratibha Patil as India's first woman President is an important milestone in Indian politics. It already had a woman prime minister in Mrs. Indira Gandhi in the 1970s and the 1980s, and with Mrs. Patil's ascendancy to the highest office in India, the nation has shown that gender issues do not play any role in the election of deserving candidates."

He added: "The Indian American community is keen to work with Mrs. Patil on issues that concern both the U.S. and India by starting a dialog at the earliest. We believe that opening new channels of communication with key leaders such as Mrs. Patil can bring forth a positive impact on big-picture US-India relations, too."

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