CHANDIGARH: As Britain heads for general elections on June 8, the Sikh community in the United Kingdom (UK) has put forward a five-point agenda for both conservative and liberal parties.
Talking with the New Indian Express, Amrik Singh, chairman of the Sikh Federation (UK) said, “We have already started to encourage all Sikhs able to vote to register by May 22 and during the general election 2017 we will encourage Sikh voters, Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations to focus on the following five-point plan.’’
Elaborating on the five-point plan, Singh said, ‘First better representation of Sikhs in Parliament, then the British government should officially recognition of the 1984 Sikh riots in India, also we demand an independent public inquiry into UK government’s support for the Indian authorities in the lead up to and after the 1984 Sikh Genocide. The fourth point is a full apology from the British Prime Minister for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre before the 100th anniversary in 2019. Last but not the least is getting British authorities to recognise their failure 70 years ago with regard to Sikhs and their homeland in 1947, and the death, destruction and devastation of Partition. It was the largest mass migration in human history of some 10 million people. One million civilians died in the accompanying violence as Punjab was divided in two by the border to create Pakistan and India.’’
Some other issues in the Sikh Manifesto prepared by the Sikh Federation (UK) are separate ethnic monitoring of Sikhs, a site for a monument in central London to recognise Sikh sacrifices in the First World War, and more Sikh ethos schools could be discussed with candidates.
Singh said, “We are confident that we will see two or three Sikh MPs elected in the forthcoming polls. All Sikhs able to vote must register and cast their vote to make every Sikh vote count.”
“The Sikh Manifesto for 2015-2020 is still an invaluable reference document. The 5-point plan for GE2017 complements the Sikh manifesto and directs Sikh voters, Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations to issues they can raise with candidates of all political parties, ” he said.
Due to lobbying, Preet Kaur Gill, a Labour Councillor in Sandwell on Thursday was selected by the Labour NEC interview panel to replace Gisela Stuart in Birmingham Edgbaston.
She was up against political heavyweight Neena Gill MEP, and Preet could make political history in less than six weeks to become the first ever Sikh woman MP in Westminster.