Overseas Congress to press for NRI MPs

May 25th, 2009 - 10:29 am ICT by IANS  

By Kul Bhushan
New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) A significant section of Indians settled in Britain say they will contribute more to India’s development now that the Congress has won the elections to form a stable government, but is lobbying for two nominated NRI members in parliament.

Balwant Kapoor, president of the Indian Overseas Congress of Britain who led a six-man team to campaign for the Congress for the past one month in Punjab, told IANS: “We will continue to press for two NRI representatives in the Rajya Sabha, one for Europe and the other for the United States. I hope the new government will consider this request favourably.”

He hoped that the new Congress government would provide more benefits for overseas Indians; including establishing fast-track courts for their property litigations and provide voting rights for Overseas Indian Citizens. He hoped that the Overseas Indian Citizenship would become a proper dual citizenship for overseas Indians.

“British Indians have contributed and are contributing millions to India. They are supporting their relatives in Punjab, they have built properties, built hospitals, schools, clinics and even playgrounds and stadiums all over Punjab from small villages to major towns and cities,” said Kapoor, a freedom fighter settled in London.

“We have established no less than four five-star hospitals in Punjab, hundreds of schools and clinics and dozens of playgrounds for our people here,” he said. “In addition, we have invested in businesses and industries to create more jobs - and we will continue to do so.”

On his participation in the Lok Sabha elections, Kapoor said: “We have worked with Capt. Amrinder Singh in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar.”

“I have addressed many rallies and campaigned at the door-to-door level for the Congress. Now we are in Delhi to meet the national leaders before returning home. As soon as we return to London, my organisation will hold a big victory celebration for the Congress and for India,” he said.

“Now the elections are over, our task is to project India, and not its political parties, abroad,” he added.

After India’s independence, Kapoor worked for eight years as personal secretary for Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, India’s first health minister, and later settled in Britain. He revitalised the India League in London as the Indian Overseas Congress and has maintained close ties with major national leaders ever since. Every year, this organisation holds two major functions in London on India’s Independence Day and Republic Day in addition to other events to honour visiting Indian leaders.

(Kul Bhushan can be contacted at kulbhushan2040@gmail.com)

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