In a bid to woo Indian voters ahead of Thursday’s general election, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Saturday visited a famous temple in London and vowed to join his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in building ‘New India’.
Johnson, accompanied by his girlfriend Carrie Symonds and UK’s Home Secretary Priti Patel, visited one of the most famous temples Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, north-west London.
“I know Prime Minister Modi is building a new India. And, we in the UK government will support him fully in his endeavour,” PTI quoted Johnson as saying.
Sporting a tilak and garland, Johnson mentioned the role of Indian diaspora in past election wins for the Conservatives. “British Indians have played a vital role in helping the Conservatives win elections in the past. When I told Narendrabhai [Modi] this, he just laughed and said Indians are always on the winning side,” he said.
In an indirect reference to Labour’s perceived anti-India stance over the issue of Kashmir, he noted: “There can be no place for racism or anti-India sentiment of any kind in this country”.
Priti Patel said, if elected, the Conservatives would introduce a new Australian-style points-based immigration procedure for a “fairer” visa system for migrants from all over the world, including India.
“The vote to leave the EU was a vote to take back control of our borders, and that is exactly what a Conservative majority government will do by getting Brexit done and ending freedom of movement. Immigration will finally be subject to democratic control,” Patel said.
In what is being seen as the ‘Brexit election’, Britain is all set to go into its first winter election in nearly a decade. While Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will announce new policies, the Liberal Democrats have promised to invest billions of pounds to transform mental health services in the country. Johnson’s Conservative party will look forward to securing a majority to break the Brexit logjam.