UPA victory energises Indian Overseas Congress

July 26th, 2008 - 3:42 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

London, July 26 (IANS) The victory of the Congress-led ruling coalition in India has boosted the party’s decades-old overseas branches, the head of the British unit said at a celebratory dinner. “Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s victory is a victory for all of us Indians abroad,” Balwant Kapoor, veteran freedom fighter and President of the Indian Overseas Congress (IOC) said Friday night.

“If you look around you, you’ll see I have invited overseas members of not only the Congress, but other political parties that are allied to it, including the Shiromani Akali Dal,” Kapoor added.

The IOC, formed in 1969 after a meeting of Congress members and supporters in west London, has been among the premier political organisations of the Indian diaspora for many years, with branches in the US, Britain and Europe.

It shot into fame in January 1986 when Khalistani separatists shot and killed IOC General Secretary Tarsem Singh Toor and badly wounded another leading member, Sangtar Singh Sandhu.

Kapoor said Friday the IOC, which now has a chapter in Finland, is trying to broaden its membership among second generation people of Indian origin, as well as followers of diverse religions.

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