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Car rally in UK to showcase support for PM Modi ahead of polls

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NEW DELHI: A car rally showcasing ‘unwavering support’ for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was organised in London ahead of the upcoming general election.
Soon after CEC Rajiv Kumar announced the Lok Sabha poll schedule, ‘Overseas Friends’ of BJP UK held the rally in which over 250 cars took part. It began at the Kuth Leva Patidar Samaj Complex in Northolt and ended at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Neaden.
The members of the diaspora in Britain were pictured holding up Indian Tricolour as well as BJP flags.

Also taking part in the rally, UK Parliamentarian and Padma Shri recipient, Bob Blackman, addressed members of the Indian diaspora at the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple.

During his address, UK MP Blackman stressed the significance of the event and the pivotal role of the Indian diaspora in shaping the future of their homeland and described the upcoming general elections in India as the ‘biggest exercise of democracy.’
“Obviously the Indian election is a massive election. It is the biggest exercise of democracy anywhere in the world. And I have a little prediction for you, a majority with 400-plus. Now the friendship between India and the United Kingdom has grown stronger and stronger ever since we have been involved in government and BJP gained power in India,” Blackman said.

The Padma Shri recipient said that the UK looks to India as a ‘fantastic growing economy’, adding that New Delhi and London are holding negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement and have already signed a friendship agreement on cooperation in defence and security.
“The old colonial days are well over. We look to India now as a fantastic growing economy and it’s grown as an economy because of the BJP government we were recognized for. So still we are still trying to negotiate between the United Kingdom and our friends in India a free trade agreement. Do you remember Boris Johnson promised it by Diwali? He didn’t say which year. We’ve now just had the 14th round of trade negotiations. So, there’s still further work to do,” he said.
“But we do have that friendship agreement with India signed on cooperation on defence, on security and, indeed, leading to the Free Trade Agreement. Now that’s going to give India, United Kingdom a tremendous opportunity. So there’s a lot at stake for both countries. But if we can get this over the line then the opportunity for growth is enormous,” he added.
The Conservative MP for Harrow East further said, “India’s economy is on the route to being the number one in the world. And, of course, that has been driven by the growth that is taking place in India right now. The United Kingdom is still growing. Our economy is sluggish but is growing, which is good news. So, what we’ve got to do is make sure that happens. And, therefore, the reelection of the BJP government is important to that (for the British economy to recover and grow). So, you (diaspora) play a big part in making sure that Narendra Modi is still Prime Minister and the BJP still runs the government.”
Blackman also praised British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak while urging people, including the Indian diaspora, to support him for his re-election in the polls.
“Now, not only do we have a wonderful government in India but a wonderful prime minister (Sunak), who’s Indian. So we need all of you to help us make sure that Rishi is still prime minister after the general election. And indeed, I need all of you to make sure I’m still an MP. As one or two people have kindly said, I’m the most pro Indian MP in Parliament. So without me, you lose your voice in Parliament,” Blackman said.

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