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British Hindus expected to vote for Conservatives in elections

A group of British Indians have been campaigning for “pro-India” candidates in 40 seats, the majority of which are Conservative candidates. A large number of PIO Sikhs and Muslims “were still with Labour”, Political analyst Kapil Dudakia claimed. The British-Indian vote will also help Tory candidate Alok Sharma increase his majority in Reading West.

, TNN|
Dec 12, 2019, 11.01 AM IST
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(This story originally appeared in on Dec 11, 2019)
London: British Hindus are expected to vote for the Conservative Party in significant numbers in Thursday’s elections in response to Labour’s stance on India under its leader Jeremy Corbyn.

A group of British Indians have been campaigning for “pro-India” candidates in 40 seats, the majority of which are Conservative candidates. “The Indian community will influence about 40 (of 650) seats in this election,” claimed Overseas Friends of BJP UK president Kuldeep Singh Shekhawat. “The majority of PIOs have switched to the Tories and it is not only Hindus... Quite a few Sikhs and Muslims too.”

Political analyst Kapil Dudakia agreed. “Some from the Indian community have aligned to the Lib Dems, but many are now very much with the Tory party,” he said. However, Dudakia said the shift to the Tories was mainly among the 8,17,000-strong Hindu community in Britain and driven by Labour’s “anti-India and anti-Hindu” stance. A large number of PIO Sikhs and Muslims “were still with Labour”, he claimed.

Dr Rakib Ehsan, researcher on British ethnic minority public attitudes, agreed. “PIO Muslims are likely to remain with Labour because of issues like Kashmir and Palestine. I expect some Sikhs will vote Conservative as Punjabi Sikhs, in particular, are Brexit-leaning. I also expect to see some shift to the Lib Dems as British Indians tend to be Remainers.”

“The Tories have fielded the most PIO candidates and their manifesto is pro-India. Labour have fielded very few PIO candidates and their manifesto is not in favour of the Indian community. Boris supports India and he said if re-elected Delhi will be his first stop,” Shekawat claimed.

The British-Indian vote will also help Agra-born Tory candidate Alok Sharma increase his majority in Reading West. “Bob is one of the only voices who has spoken up for India over Kashmir in Parliament and he solidly stands behind the community,” Shekhawat said.
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