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Want closer ties with India says UK’s frontrunner for PM

By Anuj Cariappa
|

London, May 26: Britain's frontrunner in the prime ministerial race, Boris Johnson, wants an "even closer" partnership between India and the UK after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "emphatic" victory.

Johnson is the former foreign secretary in the Cabinet led by Theresa May, who is set to formally resign on June 7 triggering a leadership contest for the new Conservative Party leader who will take over from her as British prime minister.

Boris Johnson

The 54-year-old pro-Brexiteer is seen as leading the race for his decisive within the influential Brexit wing of the party and has often spoken out in favour of closer India-UK trade relations once the UK has left the European Union (EU).

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"Congratulations Narendra Modi on your emphatic victory in Indian Election results 2019. A strong endorsement for your optimistic vision of New India," Johnson said in his message for Modi soon after the results of the NDA's landslide victory on Thursday.

"Let's look forward to an even closer partnership between UK-India in the years ahead," he said.

The Indian elections continue to resonate in the UK, with senior politicians and entrepreneurs effusive in their praise for the world's largest democratic exercise.

"Narendra Modi's victory in the Indian elections this week is not only the biggest democratic mandate of any leader in the world, in a subcontinent with more than 900 million eligible voters it's also a vindication of the relationship that successive British prime ministers, led by David Cameron, have built up with the fastest growing country in the G20, said Lord Jitesh Gadhia, an Indian-origin peer in the House of Lords.

Leading NRI entrepreneur Gopichand P Hinduja welcomed the "momentous and resounding election victory" and called on the re-elected Indian government to connect more with the non-resident Indian community.

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The Co-Chairman of the multi-billion transnational Hinduja Group valued at over 22 billion pounds in this year's 'Sunday Times Rich List', said: "This is a vote for economic stability, aspiration for young India and vindication of his strong leadership in his first term in office.

"India's global NRI community are an integral part of this growth story they are India's unpaid Ambassadors and should be able to invest on par with resident Indians.

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