Modi critic, member of ‘The Squad’: Ilhan Omar, Democrat head dropped from US House panel

New Delhi: The Republican-majority US House of Representatives on Thursday voted to oust Somali-born Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from the influential Foreign Affairs Committee over six controversial statements including a 2019 tweet seen as anti-Semitic.

Ilhan Omar (40), who represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, is often viewed unfavorably in India. Last April, she made a private visit to Pakistan, during which she met then Prime Minister Imran Khan and visited Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The Biden administration clarified at the time that it was an “informal, personal” visit that in no way represented the US government’s stand on Kashmir.

In the past, Omar has also accused the Biden administration of being “reluctant” to criticize the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s track record on human rights and treatment of Muslims.

On Friday, Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy cited previous comments by Ilhan Omar to justify the expulsion, including remarks seen as “anti-Semitic tropes” and a description of 9/11 as a day was done in when “some people did. something”.

In 2019, Omar suggested that US support for Israel was driven by funding from a pro-Israel lobby group, specifically the American–Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). “It’s all about Benjamin’s baby,” she had tweeted—an apparent reference to the $100 bill. Omar “unequivocally apologized” for the tweet.

Some newspapers, including The New York Times, interpreted Omar’s ouster from the high-profile committee as an attempt by Republicans to settle a “partisan score” from 2021, when the then-Democrat-majority House appoints Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor of Georgia. Green and Paul Gosar of Arizona. From his committee works.