BY Gargi Bhattacharjee and Varsha Sarkar
While the big action unfolded back home and a closely fought elections come to an end in the United Kingdom, British expatriates in the city spent most of the time either hooked onto television screens or live Internet updates.
Even as the Conservative Party led by the incumbent Prime Minister David Cameron won by a majority of 330 seats despite a close shave predicted by exit polls, most expats in the city say the win was expected.
Not all, however, are happy with the results.
Madhu Patel, a UK national who voted in the last elections but missed out this year, said he watched the election results closely in Pune and was happy with Cameron’s victory as he believed it’s a good sign for trade.
“David Cameron’s win is extremely beneficial for India-UK relations because a number of key business contracts have been signed between India & UK under Cameron’s last tenure,” said Patel, trustee and one of the founding members of the British Business Group in Pune.
Ian Smith, managing director of SK Sourcing and Management Pvt Ltd Pune, said it would be interesting to watch this new government because while Cameron was becoming the Prime Minister for a second time, in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon-led Scottish National Party had won a decisive number of seats in the Parliament.
“The SNP is opposed to the nuclear and fiscal policy of Cameron and also want power for Scotland. So there is going to be quite a power struggle there. It’s also very interesting to see that three leaders who fought against Cameron — Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and Nigel Farrage — have resigned as the leaders of their respective parties. It is important to see who succeeds these leaders in their respective political parties because there has to be a definitive opposition since Cameron is at an absolute majority,” he said.
Meanwhile, a full-time volunteer at a public charitable trust in the city, Mehera Arjani, 66, isn’t happy about the results. Speaking about the issue of tax gap which was not tackled by the last coalition government of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, Arjani said, “I would have been happy if United Kingdom Independent’s Party (UKIP) led by Nigel Farage had come to power. Though even UKIP has its pitfalls and holds an extremist view on the issue of immigration,” said Arjani.
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