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Cameron Woos Indian-Origin Voters in UK

Published: 09th February 2015 08:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th February 2015 08:52 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

LONDON: Ahead of the general election in May, Prime Minister David Cameron has praised the crucial Indian- origin voters in the United Kingdom and highlighted their "amazing" contributions to the British society.

During a visit to a gurdwara in the West Midlands region, Cameron praised the Sikh community in the country.

"As with other British Asians, British Sikhs make an amazing contribution to our country: in business, in our military, in our communities, in our charities," he said.

"We should celebrate that our country is a successful multi-faith, multi-ethnic democracy," said the 48-year-old leader during a visit to Gurdwara Sahib Leamington and Warwick in Warwickshire on Friday.

"Of course we need to do more to promote opportunity but already today you can see people who in one or two generations can come here, build a future for themselves and end up at the top in politics, in business," Cameron said.

According to a recent analysis, India-born migrants form UK's largest population of foreign-born voters and could play a decisive role in some constituencies in the general election on May 7.

As per 2011 census, nearly 4.3 lakh Sikhs live in England. They have a considerable influence on 50-100 seats of out of the total 650.

About 615,000 Indian-origin voters are expected to vote in the election and patterns suggest they are likely to prefer parties viewed positive about race-equality and immigration, says a new study titled 'Migrant Voters in the 2015 Election'.

Cameron highlighted Conservative party's pro-India views yet again by referring to the British-Indian ties as "something very close to my heart."

He said: "It was the first major country I visited as leader of the opposition, and I have made three trips to India as Prime Minister."

"I had a very good meeting with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi when we met in Australia. I think all the elements are there -- the trade relationship is good, India invest more into Britain than the rest of Europe combined, the links between our communities are very strong."

He said: "I also think there's a growing understanding that the rise of India in the world, Britain and India as the world's oldest democracy and the world's largest democracy should be cooperating over vital international issues like climate change and supporting free trade.

"There is a real opportunity for us to work together."

Leaders of major parties, including Labour's Ed Miliband and Liberal Democrats' Nick Clegg, have been seen at Hindu temples and gurdwaras across Britain in the last few months as part of an attempt to woo the ethnic minority community.

Operation Black Vote, a non-partisan campaign group, has concluded that there will be 70 per cent more seats where black and Asian voters could decide the outcome this year than there were in the last election in 2010.

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