UK election: 2 Sikh MPs add to record Indian set in House of Commons

By 9th June 2017 0 Comments


There is much delight in Britain’s Sikh community over the election of Preet Kaur Gill – the first Sikh woman MP – and Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi – the first turban-wearing Sikh MP – whose presence in the House of Commons increases the Indian-origin group from 10 to a record 12.

The dozen include seven from the Labour Party and five from the Conservative Party.

All 10 Indian-origin lawmakers in the previous Parliament expectedly retained their seats, with Dhesi (Slough) and Gill (Birmingham Edbaston) – both Labour – taking forward the “Indian” participation in British politics that began with Dadabhai Naoroji being elected in Finsbury Central in 1892.

There were more than 50 Indian-origin candidates from various parties in the fray.

Dhesi and Gill are not the first Sikhs to be elected MPs. Former lawmakers from the community include Paramjit Dhanda and Piara Singh Kabra.

Jasdev Singh Rai of the British Sikh Consultative Forum told Hindustan Times: “I think they (Dhesi and Gill) will have the same visible impact that Manmohan Singh had in raising the profile of the Sikhs in the world. They understand current issues and are very articulate.

“We can say the Sikhs have finally arrived on Britain’s political scene. For too long, political parties have taken Sikhs for granted. We will now have a voice in Parliament. The two are well respected within the community, are in touch with gurdwaras sangats, Sikh youth and also know the issues of 1984 in depth,” he added.
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