Thursday saw London's streets around North West and West London (Queensbury, Osterley etc) celebrate Narendra Modi's victory in Indian election, with supporters of Overseas Friends of BJP walking down the street in saffron and white t-shirts saying 'NaMo Again' and 'UK4Modi', holding Indian flag, shouting slogans, playing drums and music, distributing sweets while many in the 1.5mn strong Indian community followed the results closely from early morning.
People gathered at the Indian Gymkhana as well as outside Queensbury station, rejoiced with pomp and gaiety, as the results were announced on tv. A double decker open bus sponsored by the Golden Tours, decorated with the Indian flag, toured around London with Indian snacks (tea and bhajiya), while people of various age loudly sang 'Saare Jahan Se Acha', chanted 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', 'Vaande Mataram', 'Har Har Mahadev' and 'Har Har Modi'. One of the supporters on the bus, with a BJP scarf around his neck, supporting NaMo's latest victory said, “We are touring London's big monuments celebrating Modiji's victory. He is God's boon for India. Long live Modiji.” Leicester also witnessed a similar celebration.
Virendra Sharma MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for India, reportedly said India-UK relations can only grow further under PM Modi, as he has visited the UK twice and understood the importance of the diaspora as the 'living bridge'.
Barry Gardiner MP, the former Chair of the Labour Friends of India said, “As Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wins a second term we congratulate him for his message: “Our alliance represents India's diversity and our agenda is India's progress. celebrating the country’s diversity. I look forward to deepening our friendship and trade.”
Prime minister Theresa May in a tweet said, “Congratulations @narendramodi on your re-election as Prime Minister of #India. I look forward to the UK's relationship with India continuing to go from strength to strength during your second term."
Many UK-based supporters of the BJP were active in campaigning for the 2014 elections as well as in 2019- including 2000 volunteers who travelled to India. There were several rallies held in the UK before elections, trying to educate the youngsters
Lord Karan Bilimoria, who is one of the CBI chief contestants this year, said, this would bring stability and assurance, and focus on continued economic growth for the Indian economy.
Lord Bhikhu Parekh told Asian Voice, “Narendra Modi's recent victory is a remarkable personal achievement. Although the BJP provided the ground troops, the victory was entirely due to the Prime Minister's enormous energy, dedication and effort. He had worked out a coherent electoral strategy and by and large stuck to it during the campaign. Some of his colleagues and associates spoke out of turn and brought shame and disgrace to the party. The Prime Minister handled them all adroitly and make sure that no mud was allowed to tarnish his image. His programme also helped as did his rhetoric. His religious sympathies played a role but it was not decisive. It remains to be seen whether religion shapes the new government's policies with respect to the minority. As of now it seems unlikely. The Prime Minister begins his second incarnation with great hopes and expectation. I wish him well.”
Senior Conservative MP Bob Blackman added, “My heartfelt congratulations to Narendra Modi on the occasion of his victory in the Indian general election and my congratulations to the BJP on being elected to govern for another term.
“For the BJP to win such a vast number of seats sends a very clear message that the people of India trust the party to deliver on its election pledges and promises.
“Beyond the size of the majority now commanded by the BJP, this result is a decisive verdict on the support enjoyed by Narendra Modi across the nation of India. His first term provided prosperity, security and a major uplift in social conditions and let us look forward to him delivering on these three fronts – and many more – in the next few years.
“The BJP are the natural allies of the Conservative and Unionist Party and I am positive about the ever blossoming relationship between our two great nation states.
“India has been strengthened both domestically and abroad under Modi’s premiership and I look forward to his new term - Jai Hind!”
Krunal Thakkar, a young member of the OFBJP(UK) told Asian Voice, “India is growing under Modiji's right leadership. Our country has always been respected internationally, but now with Modiji's guidance, it has grown by leaps and bounds. He has also brought India to a different level of political and economic success, which is our USP.”
(photo courtesy: Suryakant Jadva)