Britain is voting on Thursday to elect its members to the House of Commons in its highly anticipated election, even as it comes after the ruling conservative party has successfully negotiated a deal over Brexit with the European Union (EU) block. The results are expected to be announced on Friday.
A total number of 3,332 candidates are vying for the 650 seats in the House of Commons.
These elections have been highly polarized over the Labour party’s alleged support to Antisemitism activities, anti-Indian attitude especially related to the issue of abrogation of Article 370 and reluctance to condemn terror activities around the world and in Britain. The front runner for the top office from the Labour Party is Jeremy Corbyn.
The conservatives led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under fire for its performance on various economic indicators and their stand to privatize the National High Service (NHS). This was revealed in some leaked documents pertaining to the US-Britain Free Trade Agreement negotiations.
The elections in 2017, resulted in the victory of 12 Indian origin Members of Parliament (MP’s). these elections are expected to increase that number. There are high hopes that these members can become effective Ambassadors of India and promote the friendly relations between the two countries.
Let us briefly look at some of the top Indian origin candidates contesting these elections,
1. Priti Sushil Patel-
Born to Indian origin family from Uganda who had settled in the UK, she is presently the Home Secretary of Britain, entrusted with ensuring the security of the entire island.
She will be contesting from the constituency of Witham on a Conservative Ticket. She has been a Member of Parliament from this constituency since 2010.
She graduated from the University of Essex with a Masters in British Government and Politics.
She has held many positions in the British Government previously. She has held the position of Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Minister of state for Employment and Secretary of state for International Employment.
She is a supporter of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Going by her stellar performance and political wisdom, she could very well run for the top office in the coming times.
2. Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi-
After winning the elections in 2017, he became the first turbaned Sikh to win the elections and become a Member of Parliament from the Labour Party.
He will be contesting the current elections from the constituency of Slough.
He is currently a part of the Parliamentary Committee on Housing, Communities and Local Government.
He recently in a well acclaimed speech, lashed out at Prime Minister Boris Johnson and accused him of promoting Islamophobia.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Management Studies from the University of London; Applied Statistics from the University of Oxford and Master of Philosophy in the History and Politics of South Asia from the University of Cambridge.
His Mother Dalvinder Kaur Dhesi was jailed in the Indian state of Punjab for kidnapping and forcing the abortion of a teenage girl. She appealed against this in the Punjab and Haryana High Court which upheld the verdict and she was subsequently released.
Tanmanjeet has also been accused of being a supporter of the Khalistan movement. He addressed the gathering in the Gurudwara Sri Singh Sabha in Slough, where the background posters supported the Khalistan movement and the 2020 Referendum.
3. Virendra Sharma-
He is a living example of the hard- working Indian migrant community who typically leave their home nation, take up small jobs in the UK and study simultaneously and then become role models for not only the Indian Community but also the nation as a whole.
Having migrated from the Shaheed Bhagat Singh district of Punjab, he worked as a Bus conductor and finished his education from the London School of Economics on a scholarship.
He will be contesting these elections from the Ealing Southall constituency. He has been a Member representing this constituency since 2007. He belongs to the Labour Party.
He has held the position of a Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of State at the Treasury and Home offices.
He has been a member of the Parliamentary and Select committees on Health, Human rights and International Development.
He is also a leading member of the Labour Party’s Friends of Israel group and been the vice-chair of the All -Party Parliamentary group on the Tamil’s issue.
He has also expressed his disappointment at the stand taken by his party on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. He remains a friend of India and many believe that he represents the best of India in Britain.
4. Dr Kulvinder Singh Manik-
He is a first- time candidate contesting from the constituency of Bradford South, a constituency dominated by Pakistanis and Pakistani origin people, on a Brexit Party nomination.
Born to second generation migrants from the state of Punjab, he was rescued as a child from Domestic violence and then raised by a single parent. He is grateful to the UK for all the benefits they have showered him with.
He is a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners, holds a MA in Oriental Studies (Sanskrit) from the Cambridge University and a LLM (distinction).
He has a passion for human rights and social service. He is currently a Doctor with the NHS. In the last ten years, he has treated the most vulnerable sections of the population that include refugees, migrants and the homeless.
He has also participated in free medical camps in Africa.
He hopes to carry forward this work after winning these elections.
5. Valerie Vaz
She is currently serving in the shadow cabinet of the shadow leader of the House of Commons from the Labour party.
She is contesting from the Walsall South constituency of which she has been a member since 2010.
Born to Goan origin parents, she has had an illustrious career, both professionally and politically.
She holds a Bsc (Honours) in Bio-Chemistry from the University of London. She is also a qualified solicitor and served as a judge briefly. She has her own law firm.
Immediately after winning the elections in 2010, she was appointed as a member of the Health Select Committee. She also served in the Parliamentary committees on Science and Technology, environment and food and rural affairs.
It is expected that she may very will get a ministerial position if the Labour party were to win the elections currently underway.
Some of the other Indian origin candidates include Alka Sehgal Cuthbert who contested the European parliament elections earlier and is now contesting from East Ham. She is an educationist and an author of well published books.
Some of the other front runners are Labour party’s Navendru Mishra, Lisa Nandy and Seema Malhotra
From the Conservatives Party are Gagan Mohindra ,Goan Claire Coutinho, Alok Sharma, Rishi Sunak, Shailesh Vara and Suella Braverman.
From the Brexit Party are Sachin Sehgal, Parag Shah, Kailash Trivedi, Munish Sharma, Sudhir Sharma, Raj Singh Chaggar, Viral Parikh and Vishal Dilip Khatri.