The UK’s Indian diaspora on Friday (December 13) hailed the impressive victory of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the historic General Election, which saw unprecedented activism by the community members against the Opposition Labour Party’s perceived anti-India stance.
Britain’s first December election in nearly a century was called by Prime Minister Johnson with a central goal to break the deadlock in Parliament over Britain’s impending exit from European Union (EU) and diaspora leaders felt this message resonated with the Indian-origin voters alongside the wider electorate.
Johnson won the historic election as his Conservative Party crossed the 326-mark required for a majority in Parliament.
“Boris Johnson will deliver Brexit and take the country to the next level,” said Lord Rami Ranger, co-chair of the Conservative Friends of India (CFIN), who believes the diaspora voters saw through the Jeremy Corbyn led Labour Party’s vision which would have left the country bankrupt.
“The result gives Indian business the certainty they have been calling for; if not the details of what the full-fledged UK-EU trade deal will eventually look like, the fact that they will need to start adjusting to the post-Brexit challenges as well as opportunities that the UK’s new course will provide,” said Manoj Ladwa, CEO of UK-based media house India Inc. which had released a pre-election opinion poll of British Indian voter intentions.
The survey had thrown up an 18 per cent undecided set of British Indian voters, showing a large chunk of diaspora votes up for grabs which seem to have been capitalised by the Tories.
Boris Johnson had made a decisive play for this vote with a visit to the famous Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, north-west London, just days before the election and made a pledge to partner with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his mission to build a new India and also announced plans for a major visit to India in the New Year.
The Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) diaspora outfit proactively rallied community votes against what it said was the Labour party’s betrayal of British Indians. Overall, Boris Johnson’s victory is seen as good news for India-UK relations, given his past track record.
“The return of a Boris-led Conservative government focused on bilateral trade, diaspora and security relationships could possibly ensure a true strategic partnership,” said Rahul Roy-Chaudhury, Senior Fellow for South Asia at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think tank in London.