Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev backs Puneet Ahluwalia for Virginia LG

Puneet Ahluwalia
Puneet Ahluwalia

If elected, he would be the first Indian American LG of Virginia.

Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev is batting for Delhi-born Indian American businessman Puneet Ahluwalia in the race for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.

Ahluwalia, 55, is seeking Republican nomination for the post at a hybrid party convention on May 8 “to bring diversity to America’s political landscape” amid a surge in violence against the Asian American community.

If elected, he would be the first Indian American to hold the second highest position in the state, which over the last decade has seen a rapid expansion of cricket-loving South Asian Americans, especially in the Washington metropolitan area.

“Wishing all the luck,” Kapil Dev said in a video posted on Facebook. “I hope, I can come and help you.”

READ: Indian American Puneet Ahluwalia running for Lt. Governor of Virginia (September 26, 2020)

“Thank you to my friend Kapil Dev, one of the greatest cricket players ever, for these kind words of support,” replied Ahluwalia, a resident of McLean, just outside Washington DC.

Kapil Dev’s endorsement is expected to give a boost to Ahluwalia’s campaign in Virginia which ranked seventh in terms of Indian American population in a US state in 2010.

More than half a million Asian Americans called Virginia home In 2019, according to University of Virginia estimates.

A Delhi Public School (DPS) alumnus, who immigrated to the US in 1990, Ahluwalia serves as a consultant to international businesses on client acquisition, marketing, and strategic affairs with The Livingston Group.

“I came to this country with almost nothing, built a business, married a wonderful woman who also immigrated (from Afghanistan), and raised a beautiful family,” said Ahluwalia in a recent media interview.

READ: ‘Vote Republican, and vote in your best interest’: Puneet Ahluwalia to Indian Americans (April 4, 2016)

Like most people of color, he and his wife Nadia have occasionally faced bias and prejudice, said Ahluwalia. “But we’ve never lost sight of the blessings we’ve enjoyed by being citizens of this wonderful country,” he said.

Ahluwalia said he was in the race for Lt. Governor “because I want to help every American share in the opportunity and blessing of America — no matter the color of their skin, the language they speak, or the country where they were born.”

“I’m convinced our economic wellbeing and the future of our families depends on upholding the fairness and freedom that America stands for when it stands at its best,” he said.

A Republican party veteran of 20 years, Ahluwalia says ‘Virginia needs new ideas and a business environment that will attract investment, jobs, growth and wealth.”

“Virginia is in trouble right now, and we’re running out of time as Democrats offer the same old tired promises,” he wrote  in a note to his supporters announcing his run last September.

READ: Finding Indian Americans inclined to the Republican party not easy: Puneet Ahluwalia (March 4, 2014)

“Virginia needs to support its hard-working and courageous police, protect 2nd Amendment rights, and stand up for law and order.”

“I am Pro-Life, Pro-Liberty, and Pro-Virginia First. We need to reopen our schools, reopen our economy, and get our lives back together.”

“I wasn’t born an American, my wife and I are Americans by choice,” wrote Ahluwalia. “I am not a politician; I am a proud American living the American dream.”



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