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Nikki Haley is coming to town. Does she want to be US president?

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The buzz is that Haley’s real purpose is to check India’s reaction to her possible candidature in the US presidential race.

New Delhi: Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN and perhaps the best-known person of Indian origin, is visiting India later this month on a “bilateral visit”.

But the buzz is that her real purpose is to check the reaction in what was her home country to her possible candidature in the US presidential race when elections take place two years from now.

Those in the know said that this is more in the nature of a diplomatic probing visit since Haley is not wearing her UN hat on the trip.

Haley will be in Delhi for a few days from 27 June. She recently visited the Indian consulate in Houston, Texas, and was said to be quite a hit with the Indian American congregation in that state.

On the eve of that visit, Haley was involved in a ‘Twitter spar’, defending everything from the US decision to threaten to walk out of the Human Rights Committee if it continued to censure Israel to the accusation that she had abandoned her given name, Nimrata, and changed it to the much-less Indian Nikki.

Here is what a Twitter user said: Imagine carrying your child for 9 months and naming her Nimrata only for her to start calling herself Nikki. Her ancestors BEEN turning in their graves.

But Haley was nonplussed by the criticism: “Nikki is my name on my birth certificate. I married a Haley. I was born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa and married Michael Haley,” she said.

Another tweet accused her of being racist, but she denied it vehemently: “I’m not white. I’m Indian American. Don’t ever judge or assume. Many people are looking for peace just like you.”

On Father’s Day, 17 June, she posted a photo of her Sikh parents (her father in a turban), although her comment had nothing about them, just on her white, Christian husband:

Some say that it’s early for the former governor of South Carolina to probe her interest for the world’s most powerful job, but the fact is that both Trump and Hillary Clinton had already gone public about their interest to contest at this time, that is two whole years before the election.

Trump’s two years in power have been so full, what with his determination to upend the world order as well as the non-stop tabloidisation of his personal life, that it almost comes as a surprise that the next presidential election is only two years away.

Haley’s tweet Tuesday morning, #FindThePowerOfYourVoice, is perhaps her subliminal message to the world, that she’s planning to be counted in.

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  1. Given how much the rest of the world is affected by the actions of the US President, perhaps all of us should get to vote, but Ms Haley will have to get the winning votes back home in the US. Nikki is an affectionate Punjabi was of saying dear little one.

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