India-origin Sikh elected New Jersey town’s mayor

India-origin Sikh Ravinder S Bhalla was sworn in as the Mayor of Hoboken, a small town in New Jersey in the United States on January 2.

“Hoboken, I am proud, humbled and honored to be your Mayor. Thank you to @CoryBooker for swearing me in today. I look forward to getting to work on behalf of our residents!” Bhalla tweeted after his swearing in ceremony. He also shared a picture of him taking oath as the town’s mayor, along with his wife and two children.

Interestingly, fliers of Bhalla, the first Sikh to hold elected office in New Jersey, were placed on car windshields on Friday night, New York Daily News reported. The flyers that featured Bhalla’s photograph, read: “Don’t let terrorism take over our Town!”, it added.

The report alleged that the leaflets appear to be a modified version of mailers sent out by another Hoboken mayoral candidate, Mike DeFusco. DeFusco, however, condemned the altered flyers.  “Today I spoke out not only against the racist, disgusting flyers targeting Ravi Bhalla that appeared last night and was made to look like it came from my campaign, but also against the rest of the hate that has been shamefully displayed throughout this race,” he said.

DeFusco said he has also been the victim of hateful rhetoric accusing him of being a part of a “crime family” and attacking his sexuality, the report said.

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