| London, UK | 10 June 2017 | Asia Samachar |
Preet Kaur Gill made history for being the first Sikh female to be elected as a Member of Parliament at the recent British snap general elections, while Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi became the first turban-wearing Sikh MP.
Both the Labour candidates, who were among the dozen Indian-origin MPs won in the elections, were both born and raised in the constituencies where they won. There were more than 50 Indian-origin candidates from various parties in the fray.
In an interview immediately after the announcement, Preet told the media that it was a ‘real honour and privilege’ to represent the people in the area where she born and raised.
“My family lived here, I’m in the constituency. I’m really excited to learn more and really connect with communities,” she said.
Preet Gill secured 24,124 votes to hold the seat in Birmingham Edgbaston for Labour with a majority of 6,917. The seat had previously been held by Gisela Stuart who stepped down when the election was called.
Tanmanjeet won the Slough seat when he received 34,170 votes against 16,998 votes garnered by his Conservative party rival.
British Prime Minister Theresa May had called for the snap election in April in an attempt to extend her majority and strengthen her position in the post-Brexit era, but her gamble backfired spectacularly after her party failed to win enough seats to form a Conservative government.
Among former Sikh lawmakers included Paramjit Dhanda, Piara Singh Kabra and Paul Uppal.
Britain is home to between 600,000 and 800,000 Sikhs, with about 500,000 eligible to vote. Sikhs form part of a politically active community with an estimated two in three people voting in the 2010 general election, it adds.
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
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4 Sikhs take up Cabinet berth in Canada (Asia Samachar, 5 Nov 2015)
5 Sikh women, 5 turbaned Sikhs among 19 Indo-Canadians elected MPs (Asia Samachar, 21 Oct 2015)
As an India born Sikh living outside India I notice that the internal squabbling among Sikh peoples do not promise much in terms of a vibrant Sikh community any place in the world. A recent poll in Canada for example shows nore than 35% have a negative view of Sikhs . The only reason Sikhs get elected is due to numbers of voters rather than a deeply embedded philosophical desire to improve their lot along with the communities they live among. It disgusts me to constantly to find that as a clean cut Sikh I am deferentially talked to by Sikhs when they they think I am a Gora but quiclkly downgrade me to almost a daljit when the find that I am a Sikh. Raaj Kare Ka Khalsa? Not in God,s lifetime.
Sikhs have always excelled but individually.
Congratulations to both new MPs and trust they will work for community and country..
Long overdue for Sikhs to think for the whole community and all in line with philosophy of SARBAT DA BHALA or GOODNESS TO ALL.