India Hires Cornerstone Group To Lobby Democrats

Indian Government has hired Cornerstone Government Affairs to represent itself and lobby Democrats on her behalf in Washington. Cornerstone Group will provide “strategic counsel, tactical planning and government relations assistance on policy matters before the U.S. Government, the U.S. Congress, and select state governments, as well as academic institutions and think-tanks,” according to a copy of the contract filed with the US Justice Department. The contract is worth $40,000 a month.

Indian Government hires Cornerstone Group to lobby Democrats
Indian Government hires Cornerstone Group to lobby Democrats

Strong ties to Democrats

The firm has strong ties to the Democrat side of the aisle and is the government’s solution to fill a lobbying gap on that side, particularly by reaching out to a section of Democrats who have strongly criticised the government’s policy’s in Kashmir.

Cornerstone Group will be paid $40,000 per month under the contract, which started on December 1 and runs through the end of February.

The Indian government continues to employ lobbying firm BRG Group, to work on the Republican side of things. Haley Barbour’s BGR Government Affairs had a three-month contract with India. That pact, which expired Sept. 30, was pegged at $175K over a three-month period. Loren Monroe, of BGR, told O’Dwyer’s the firm still works for India.

However, the gap on the Democrat side became more apparent after Democrats took charge of the House in January this year.

Since India brought legislative changes and restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir in early August, a number of lawmakers, mostly Democrat, had written letters to the State Department and U.S. President Donald Trump on the Kashmir issue, or spoken about it publicly.

Hearing on Kashmir

This culminated in an October 22 hearing by the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia that focused on Kashmir. There was another hearing by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission – a caucus-like group on Capitol Hill in November.

Earlier, for lobbying the Democratic side, India had hired the Podesta Group. This firm was run by Tony Podesta, who founded the company with his brother John Podesta, who worked in the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama White Houses and famously ran Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign against Mr. Trump.

The firm shut shop in November 2017 as it came to light (due to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections) that the Podesta Group had not declared that it was hired by former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to work for a Ukrainian non-profit.

Since August 5, India’s envoy to Washington, Harsh Shringla and his team have been meeting U.S. lawmakers both in Washington and at the State level to explain India’s position on the Kashmir situation and the dilution of Article 370, after which the erstwhile State was demarcated into two Union Territories.

The burning and the destruction of Kashmir, which is rightly called the “Abandoned Heart and Soul of India”, both spiritually as well as materially, started at least a century before we got “independence”. This process was initiated by the British and then perpetuated by the British-installed puppet Dogra Kings and subsequently perfected political parties. Read the untold geopolitical history of Kashmir only in our exclusive book India in Cognitive Dissonance

GreatGameIndia is a journal on Geopolitics and International Relations. Get to know the Geopolitical threats India is facing in our exclusive book India in Cognitive Dissonance

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