Conservative Friends of India held their annual Diwali Reception at the illustrious Taj Hotel in London last week. The reception was part of CF India’s UK wide Diwali Receptions, an initiative of CF India Co-Chairs Cllr Reena Ranger OBE and Cllr Ameet Jogia.
Special guests included COP 26 President Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, Conservative Party Chairman Rt Hon Oliver Dowden MP, as well as the High Commissioner of India Gaitri Kumar Issar.
The Diwali Reception in Scotland was held in Glasgow, Scotland, in conjunction with the SCBAME on the 25 November.
Guests were welcomed by Co-Chairs Reena and Ameet; introducing the Party Chairman the Rt Hon Oliver Dowden MP. The Party Chairman thanked the High Commissioner for India for joining CF India to celebrate Diwali, CF India for organising the Diwali Reception and to the British Indian community for their unstinting support for the Conservative Party. The Chairman also said that “The shared values of UK and India and its people are to be celebrated”.
COP26 President the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP said, he was proud of his long association with the Conservative Friends of India and the importance of the organisation, and he paid tribute to its work. He added, “At today’s Diwali Reception, seeing members of CF India from all communities from across the country is testament to the organisation.”
The Chief Guest, High Commissioner of India to the UK, HE Gaitri Issar Kumar said that she was delighted to join everyone and valued the closeness with the diaspora in the UK. “I thank the Hon Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his Diwali wishes. Today is about celebrating the Festival of Light and the closest association between India and the UK. I wish all the members, Parliamentarians, an auspicious New Year. And I would like to thank Co-Chairs Cllr Reena Ranger, Cllr Ameet Jogia, Director Nayaz Qazi, Parliamentarians, Bob Blackman MP and the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Lord Ranger, Baroness Verma and Lord Popat for being a voice for India in Parliament. India is working closely with the UK for a better world in health care, climate action, trade & prosperity, defence & security and connectivity.”
Also present were Founding Chairman Lord Dolar Popat who launched the organisation with former Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012, and Chief Patron Lord Rami Ranger.
Lord Popat added that CF India was an electioneering machine, increasing the vote share amongst the British Indian community from 11% in 2005 to 44% in 2019.
Lord Ranger an emblem for the organisation paid tribute to the new tribute for the excellent work they did engaging with the committing during the pandemic.
Opportunities to improve security and defence as well as trade
Parliamentary Patron Bob Blackman MP said he looked forward to the opportunities to improve security and defence as well as trade and a wide-ranging cooperation, the key issues of China and Pakistan need to be addressed for the benefit of India and the region. Bob closed by saying, he looked forward to visiting India very soon, which will be the first time since being honoured with the Padma Shri from the President of India, as the first non- Indian origin awardee.
Speaking after the reception, Reena Ranger and Ameet Jogia commented at how pleased they are that the reception was such a great success, and said, “More and more CF India members are keen for in person events, and we hope to restart a series of events with Ministers next year.”
Patron Lord Rami Ranger CBE paid tribute to the Indian High Commissioner HE Gaitri Issar Kumar and said, “The CF India members and the diaspora to take a greater role in democracy by becoming more politically and publicly involved, which will benefit not just the present British Indian community but also the future generations.”
The vote of thanks was delivered by CF India Director Nayaz Qazi. Nayaz thanked the Indian High Commissioner HE Gaitri Issar Kumar for the constant support and said the support of the High Commissioner was central in the success of CF India. Nayaz also thanked the Parliamentary Patrons, Parliamentary Vice-Chairs, the Members of Parliament at the Reception, the CF India members the CF India Co-Chairs for their great work in strengthening CF India.
CF India Diwali reception in Scotland
On the 25 November – CF India in affiliation with SCBAME celebrated the first CF India Diwali reception, organised by CF India regional champions Pam Gosal MSP and Puneet Gupta; the event was a tremendous success and was attended by Guests of Honour Attorney General The Rt Hon Suella Braverman MP and the Conservative Party Leader Douglas Ross MP MSP.