This is a new age for India, say British MPs

May 16th, 2009 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, May 16 (IANS) India under the leadership of the Congress Party is now well-placed to engage the world while simultaneously improving the lives of people at home, Indian-origin MPs of Britain’s ruling party said Saturday.

“It’s a new age for India,” said Keith Vaz, Britain’s senior Indian-origin MP, who represents Leicester East, a constituency known as Little India for its large numbers of people from India.

“Now is the time for India to take leadership on the world stage. There are so many conflicts around the world that desperately need India’s urgent engagement.

“India needs to reach out and be on the top table along with America, Russia and the UK,” the MP told IANS, pointing out that the Labour Party is the sister party of the Congress.

Vaz said he hoped Congress would be able to capture enough seats to enable it to implement “all the economic reforms programmes that were begun by (the late prime minster) Rajiv Gandhi, and which it hasn’t been able to do because of pressures.”

Vaz’s colleague Virender Sharma, whose Southall constituency is possibly the best-known Indian Diaspora neighbourhood in the West, said the vote for Congress was primarily an endorsement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s clean image.

“It is also the people’s rejection of divisive forces and signals they want to move India simultaneously towards both secular unity and national unity,” said Sharma.

“This strong victory will give Congress the encouragement to work hard in the constituencies.

“They just have to work together and give younger members positions of responsibility.”

Sharma said the people of India had also voted for “eliminating poverty, helping farmers and bringing the basic necessities to the ordinary person.”

“That was the message from Congress, and the people of India have trusted that.”

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