After successfully winning the Republican primary nomination in March for Congress from the Illinois 8th district, Jitendra “JD” Diganvker, an Indian-American, is now confident that he will win the November mid-term election to enter the House. His Democratic opponent is Raja Krishnamurthy, who is the sitting Congressman, is also an Indian American.
In an interview, Jitendra says that the voters in the district are seeking a change for the better. They feel that they are not sufficiently represented in the US House. They are seeking a strong voice in Washington.
Jitendra says: “I am a people’s man. I am going to give that voice to my fellow Americans. Especially the hardworking middle class Americans of the constituency are feeling the absence of a strong voice for them in the Congress. Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the neglected lot. I will be their voice in Washington. Health care is becoming expensive every day. It has reached a crisis level. I am going to address it and see to it that the health care costs are affordable. There is a need to change the gun policy to ensure safety. The schools must be made safer places for students and teachers. I support merit-based legal immigration.”
He says that he understands the struggles of the middle class people because he represents the middle class. He himself has struggled as a small entrepreneur and as a small businessman, he struggled a lot to sustain the business and pay high taxes. The present government laws are very tough. The government does not help the failing businesses to recover, but on the top of it they are punished with unhelpful laws.
As a legal immigrant to the US, after graduating in accounting in India, he says, he and his wife have struggled and worked many hard jobs. They have even faced a tremendous personal loss, worked long hours to support family. He has taken entrepreneurial risks and has experienced success as well as failures. “The government is stifling entrepreneurs and job creators and weighing down families with unaffordable healthcare costs. As a Congressman from Schaumburg, I shall fight for the hard-working, middle-class Americans, who are ignored by career politicians.” he says.
Jitendra says: “My opponent does not understand the struggles of the middle class and the lower middle class people because he has not undergone such experiences. He enjoys a lifestyle of aristocracy. Holding corporate jobs, he never handled small businesses and hence does not know their problems. Most of the time he lives in Washington, away from his constituency, raising campaign funding. He does not have an agenda. The present election is like money versus hardworking middle class American.”
Claiming that he has a hard working campaign team of volunteers, he says that they all are making phone calls, and going from door to door and making person-to-person contacts. “We have met more than 50,000 people so far. In addition as an Uber driver I have provided 9,000 rides from the time we have launched our campaign. In every ride I spoke to at least two potential voters. By talking to them I gained a unique understanding of the needs and frustrations of everyday Americans.”
He says that he, his wife and son live a real and modest life of an American. “I am a proud American; I am a proud Indian-American; I am a proud Hindu-American; I respect all religions and I represent all hardworking Americans. To pursue my American dream I had immigrated to the US from Gujarat, India. With a degree in commerce, I lived the life of a humble employee of a store, a small entrepreneur and a cab driver. I came to this country to realize my American dream, which is not easy. In the process, I worked as an employee in a store, a manager of a rent-a-car company, partnered and owned a rent-a-car business, and now I run a credit card processing firm besides driving an Uber cab. Though I faced financial ups and downs I had paid all taxes regularly and, I thankfully never went bankrupt.”
Jitendra immigrated to the United States in 1995 and became an American citizen on February 4, 2003. After years of hard work and saving money he launched his first business, struggled under the weight of high taxes, rising healthcare costs, and faced burdensome government regulations.
While Jitendra has always had a passion for service, dating back to his days in school when he advocated for student issues; his drive to support others can be traced back to a family tragedy in February 1999. One winter morning, while he and his wife, Nalini, were at work, his father-in-law was at home babysitting their two young daughters. The electricity short-circuited in the home and started a fire, causing the tragic demise of all three. After doctors were unsuccessful in saving his daughters, Jitendra gave consent for his daughters’ organs to be donated, saving six lives. He and his wife take comfort in knowing that lives were saved thanks to their precious daughters, and they thank God for the joy brought into their lives by the birth of their son, Deep, in October of 1999.
This incident drove him to become the compassionate community servant he is today. He remembers the charitable organizations that supported him and his wife as they struggled to afford their daughters’ funerals, pay medical bills, and survive. As a result, he volunteers tirelessly for the community and has made it his life’s goal to give people hope. He strongly believes that no matter what your education, financial status, or personal struggles are, you are never lost if you have hope.
Stating that Raja Krishnamurthy is a career politician and not a people’s representative, Jitendra says: “I will be a true representative of people. I am well aware of the problems of the middle class people, small businessmen and entrepreneurs, low-income Americans. I will be a catalyst for creating sustainable society by supporting small and big businesses. All Americans like Indian immigrants are very honest and hardworking people. They look for opportunities, not for freebies. By default Indian immigrants are Republicans and Democrats. ”
Jitendra concludes by saying: “I will be a Congressman of the community. I will be a Congressman of the common man. Elections anywhere in the world mean money. In this election with the support of all, I will prove that a common man can also be a Congressman.”
Jitendra and his wife, Nalini, live in Schaumburg with their son, Deep.
Picture: Jitendra “JD” Diganvker (Credits – YouTube)