Indian-Americans have affirmed their growing importance in United States politics with at least five members of the community emerging victorious in the recently concluded state legislatures and local body polls.
The most significant victories came in the state of New Jersey, where rising Indian-American political star Raj Mukherji became one of the youngest member of State Assembly, and will join fellow Democrat and veteran leader Upendra Chivukula.
Mukherji, a former Jersey City Deputy Mayor, won the State Assembly elections to New Jersey's 33rd Legislative District.
Mukherji, 29, a first-time Democratic nominee for the 33rd Legislative District, had won the primary election in June by a 36-point margin.
Nellore-born Chivukula has been a member of the New Jersey assembly since 2002.
Chivukula, 63, was the first South-Asian American in the 120-member state legislature and the highest ranking South-Asian elected to office in New Jersey.
At more than four per cent, South Asians form the largest component of the state's Asian-American group, which accounts for an estimated nine per cent of New Jersey's nearly nine million population.
Meanwhile, in the state of New Hampshire, 52-year-old Democrat Latha Mangipudi defeated her rival Peter Silva in a special state representative election by a huge 18-point margin.
Democrat Sapana Shah won a berth in the Edison Municipal Council of New Jersey. The 36-year-old lawyer has been working with the Edison Board of Education since 2011.
Elsewhere, Steve Rao retained his seat on the Morrisville City Council in North Carolina despite a huge anti-incumbency wave to defeat Pete Martin. Rao is now the only remaining Indian-American in the Council and was the only incumbent to return to office.
Image: Raj Mukherji with his mother ' Photograph: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff.com