From Cherry Ferguson
LONDON: The Indian government’s attempts to interfere with the outcome of UK general elections through groups affiliated with ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were unsuccessful as each and every Labour candidate targeted by the affiliates of Hindutva groups won their seat. The BJP and RSS’s fronted organisations British Hindu and Indian Votes Matter (BHIVM), Conservatives Friends of India (CFI) and the Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) had announced to target 70 Labour candidates for the December 12 elections. After the election results were announced the groups announced that their campaigning on communal lines against the Labour candidates influenced the outcome. However, thorough research shows that the claim by Hindutva groups is baseless and fictitious.
In fact, the well-oiled campaigning by these groups failed to make any impact and Indian and Hindu voters showed little or no interest in the communal and sectarian campaign encouraged by the Indian government. These groups claimed that they were angered by Labour and Jeremy Corbyn’s support for the right of self-determination for the oppressed people of Kashmir. The groups initiated the campaign after Labour party passed a resolution at the annual conference, ahead of elections, condemning revocation of Article 275 by the Narendra Modi regime.
The Hindutva groups targeted two British Sikhs MPs for their support for Khalistan and right of self-determination, six Labour MPs with majority significant Indian and Hindu voters in these constituencies and dozens of other constituencies.
Sikh Federation (UK) Chair Bhai Amrik Singh commenting on the OFBJP’s threat to defeat Labour MPs and Hindu Temples said, “In advance of the General Election, BJP only named six MPs or constituencies where they said they would carry out the threat. This included the two Sikh MPs – Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi and Preet Kaur Gill, where they backed the Conservative candidates. In both cases, their divisive tactics failed and the Conservative vote dropped as they won with large majorities of 13,640 and 5,614 respectively.”
He told media that the other four Labour candidates they said they would defeat were Seema Malhotra, Valerie Vaz, Lisa Nandy and Claudia Webb but all won with comfortable majorities despite the Labour vote dropping nationally because of its stance on Brexit and many not having confidence in the Labour leader.
In Leicester East, Claudia Webbe won by 6,018 on the seat vacated by Keith Vaz over a sex scandal. Webbe said she was delighted to be elected but said she had been facing a divisive campaign based on misinformation related to occupied Kashmir.
From Cherry Ferguson