CHANDIGARH: The comprehensive 10-point manifesto, which was unveiled by the Sikh Federation in the UK, barely three months before the European nation heads to the general elections in May could well prove to be a game-changer.
And the Federation is also in the process of organising meetings with each of the main political parties next month to elicit their views on the manifesto. The federation and the Sikh Network that was established to produce and monitor progress on the manifesto over the next five years will tomorrow hold a follow- up event at Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Smethwick in the West Midlands which is expected to witness the participation of 15- 20 MPs and PPCs from the 50 target seats.
This will be followed by an event in Parliament on February 26 before the federation holds meetings with each of the main parties. The general elections appear to one of the UK’s most unpredictable with what appears to be a significant shift towards the Scottish National Party and the emergence of the UKIP and to a lesser extent the Greens in England and Wales. Both the Conservatives and Labour are currently projected to fall short of an overall majority.
Bhai Amrik Singh, Chair of the Sikh Federation said, “Many, who have studied the manifesto, the identification of 50 target seats and examined the voting strategy being put in place have been impressed and commented that the British Sikh community has politically come of age.”
The federation is in the process of organising meetings with each of the main political parties in March to establish their views on the manifesto while locally Gurdwaras and Sikhs are being encouraged to proactively use the manifesto to question the sitting MPs and those challenging them in around 120 constituencies.
According to Amrik, the Sikh Manifesto, that was officially released on January 31 in London, is surprisingly far more innovative and far-reaching than the Jewish equivalent released a few days later.
The impact of the Sikh Manifesto is expected to go far beyond the 50 target seats as some issues in the manifesto resonate much more widely with politicians and the public at large. For example, the issues of more effective representation in Parliament, positive action to prevent discrimination and addressing human rights violations,’’ he said.