In an unusual move, the United Kingdom’s Labour party has not fielded a single candidate of Indian origin in 100 target seats (which it had lost by a narrow margin in the previous general elections), reports The Times of India. In another 39 ‘safe’ seats, the party has decided to field only a single candidate of Indian heritage.
The decision is surprising also because many of these seats have large Indian-origin populations, which can comfortably swing the results there in the upcoming general elections scheduled for 12 December 2019.
Some Indian origin candidates which Labour will field will be sitting MPs, meaning the party is not putting its trust in new Indian faces. One of the Indian origin candidates Sundip Meghani who was rejected to be a candidate for the party, expressed his dissatisfaction with the selection process.
“On Tuesday afternoon the news broke that Claudia Webbe had got the seat. The NEC chose one of their own and did not bother interviewing anyone. I have received no email or phone update from them at all. I am not the only Asian candidate that did not get interviewed or treated fairly,” he said.
The Labour party has in recent months been seen to be siding with the Pakistani rhetoric on the Kashmir issue, in what many view as pandering to the British-Pakistani vote bank. Many of its leaders, including party chief Jeremy Corbyn, have expressly taken an anti-India stance on the Kashmir issue.