British Indians in one of the country’s most diverse boroughs have warned against attempts to divide voters in the general election along ethnic or religious lines. Last week, a UK support group for the BJP, India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party, said it was campaigning for the Tories in 48 marginal seats. It also emerged that WhatsApp messages were circulating among British Hindus urging them to vote against Labour, accusing it of being “anti-India”, raising fears that tensions are being stoked ahead of the election. But when the Guardian visited the north-west London suburb of Harrow on Monday, home to the highest density of Gujarati Hindus in the UK, people criticised the BJP’s involvement. “They don’t have to interfere in the politics here,” said Suresh Morjaria, a 67-year-old shopkeeper. “They can do what they want in India. I am happy for them to do what they want with [Indian prime minister Narendra] Modi, but this is a different country.” The president of Overseas Friends of BJP UK, Kuldeep Singh Shekhawat, boasted to the Times of India that the group had recently invited 300 Indian-origin constituents to a meeting with the Conservative MP Bob Blackman from Harrow East (1,757 majority) and the… Read full this story
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