Indian-origin candidates set to contest in tight UK elections

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The 2015 elections in the United Kingdom saw 10 Indian-origin candidates being elected to the British parliament. In 2017, the number of Indian-origin candidates contesting for seats has risen to an impressive 56 candidates.

The present members of parliament will be looking to defend their seats with comfortable margins. Priti Patel, Shailesh Vara, Keith Vaz, Alok Sharma and Virendra Sharma will hope to repeat their poll performances from 2015 and command a sizeable majority over their competitors in their respective constituencies.

Other candidates who have a chance of winning a seat are Paul Uppal, Tanmanjeet Dhesi, Kuldip Singh Sahota, and Preet Kaur Gill. Except for Paul Uppal, who is contesting for the Conservative Party, the other three candidates all belong to the Labour Party. Tanmanjeet will be a first time MP if he wins the Slough seat while Preet will be the first woman MP from the Sikh community if she wins the Edgbaston seat.

The snap election will also witness several first time Indian-origin candidates vying for parliament seats. Among them is 18-year old Arran Rangi who will be contesting for the Green Party from Ashfield. Another first time candidate is Rohit Dasgupta, a native from Kolkata. He will contesting on behalf of the Labour Party in Conservative-dominant East Hampshire.

The large Indian diaspora settled in the UK have often played a pivotal role in deciding elections. Both leading parties are fielding Indian-origin candidates in the hopes of securing the votes of this rather influential community.