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Response To Sikh Manifesto May Prove Decisive In Overall Outcome Of General Election

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RESPONSE TO SIKH MANIFESTO MAY PROVE DECISIVE IN OVERALL OUTCOME OF GENERAL ELECTION

Sikh community may influence the outcome in more than 50 constituencies

London - 11 February 2015

The Sikh Federation (UK) that is often referred to as the one and only Sikh political party in the UK has taken a huge step in producing and releasing a comprehensive 10-point manifesto three months before the General Election.

Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said:

Many who have studied the manifesto, the identification of 50 target seats and examined the voting strategy being put in place have been impressed and commented that the British Sikh community has politically come of age.

The Sikh Federation (UK) is in the process of organising meetings with each of the main political parties in March to establish their views on the manifesto whilst locally Gurdwaras and Sikhs are being encouraged to proactively use the manifesto to question sitting MPs and those challenging them in around 120 constituencies. Given the changed political landscape collective decisions taken by communities may prove far more important in May.

The Sikh Manifesto that was officially released by the community on 31 January in London is surprisingly far more innovative and far-reaching than the Jewish equivalent released a few days later. The Sikh Manifesto has now been widely shared with MPs and Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs) and is doing much to raise awareness of legitimate issues of concern.

The impact of the Sikh Manifesto is expected to go far beyond the 50 target seats as some issues in the manifesto resonate much more widely with politicians and the public at large. For example, the issues of more effective representation in Parliament, positive action to prevent discrimination, tackling grooming, faith schools and addressing human rights violations have much wider appeal.

On Saturday 14 February the Sikh Federation (UK) and the Sikh Network that was established to produce and monitor progress with the Sikh Manifesto over the next five years are holding a follow up event at Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Smethwick in the West Midlands where 15-20 MPs and PPCs from the 50 target seats are expected to attend. This will be followed by an event in Parliament on 26 February before the Sikh Federation (UK) hold meetings with each of the main parties.

The May General Election appears to one of the most unpredictable elections ever with what appears to be a significant shift towards the Scottish National Party north of the border and the emergence of UKIP and to a lesser extent the Greens in England and Wales. The Liberal Democrat vote and number of MPs are expected to drop considerably, but both the Conservatives and Labour are currently projected to fall short of an overall majority.

Bhai Amrik Singh added:

What the Sikh community decide to do in certain seats using the Sikh Manifesto is therefore more critical than at anytime in the past. Overall Sikhs may hold the balance of power in around 50 constituencies depending on the commitments by the main parties in the next two months.

Gurjeet Singh

National Press Secretary

Sikh Federation (UK)

www.sikhfeduk.com |sikhfederationuk@yahoo.co.uk | facebook.com/Sikh Federation UK | twitter @Sikhfeduk

Notes:

1) The full version of the Sikh Manifesto is available using the following link:

http://www.sikhnet.com/news/sikh-manifesto

2) The West Midlands launch event is on Saturday 14 February 2015 at Guru Nanak Gurdwara, High Street, Smethwick, B66 3AP, between 1-3pm in the Lecture Theatre.

The Sikh Manifesto was launched at Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Havelock Road, Southall on 31 January. It followed nationwide consultations and has been written with the May 2015 General Election in mind, but it is unlike the manifestos of the political parties. All Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations are able to relate to the Sikh Manifesto as it collates the most important areas in which challenges remain for British Sikhs and progress is required.

The event in the UK Parliament will be held in the Attlee Suite, Portcullis House on Thursday 26 February between 3-5pm

3) Sikhs have one of the highest voter turnout ratios of all ethnic groups. The Sikh community has a 5-point election strategy:

1. Maximum Sikh voter registration by 20 April

2. Read and become familiar with Sikh Manifesto

3. Discuss Sikh Manifesto with all candidates

4. Maximum voter turnout at the election

5. Double our influence by encouraging non Sikh friends to vote with you

We aim to increase voter registration and voting on Sikh issues. The Sikh Federation (UK) and the Sikh Network will work with the Sikh Gurdwaras and organisations to educate and inform all the community of the importance of voting and becoming more politically engaged and keeping the discussion focused with sitting MPs and PPCs primarily on the issues identified within the manifesto, with firm commitments from both candidates and party

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I'll tell you what our problem is: We don't have our finger on the pulse. We're always reactive rather than pro-active. If we were, we'd realise that our best hope is likely to come in the form of a bhatri Sikh girl in Southampton 'Satvir Kaur'. Its looking really likely she'll be nominated by Labour Party HQ and really likely she'll be elected. What our Sikh organisations should be doing is lobbying her, finding out where she stands and, quid pro quo, giving support in return for support. Trust me, she WILL be an MP come the next general election. Get to her before the pro-Indian lobby get to her. WAKE UP !!!!

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I'll tell you what our problem is: We don't have our finger on the pulse. We're always reactive rather than pro-active. If we were, we'd realise that our best hope is likely to come in the form of a bhatri Sikh girl in Southampton 'Satvir Kaur'. Its looking really likely she'll be nominated by Labour Party HQ and really likely she'll be elected. What our Sikh organisations should be doing is lobbying her, finding out where she stands and, quid pro quo, giving support in return for support. Trust me, she WILL be an MP come the next general election. Get to her before the pro-Indian lobby get to her. WAKE UP !!!!

In touch with her and pushed her with Ed Miliband in June 2013, but had around a dozen other Sikhs in next 5 years. She missed out in Southampton. We now have a few more to push. Younger females in better position.

Sikh Manifesto is not just about Sikh representatives. that is only one part of the 1st Section. There are also 9 other Sections.

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This initiative looks good but what has happened in the Ealing Southall seat? Here we had Piara Khabra a communist Indian workers party <banned word filter activated> for over a decade and since 2007 a Pro-Congress Hindu! This is supposed be the centre of Sikh power in the UK! It appears to have gone from even bad to worst as at least in 2010 there was a Sikh candidate in Gurcharan Singh standing for the Tories but now there is white guy standing for the Tories. So for the Sikh voters it's a choice of an Indira Gandhi supporting Hindu or a white guy who probably doesn't have a clue about the Sikh community and it's issues are probably considers all of us as 'asians'!

So what are the plans for Ealing Southall?

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Gravesend has a Turbaned Sikh candidate , Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi standing for Labour as a candidate in May.Has he endorsed the Sikh manifesto ?

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This initiative looks good but what has happened in the Ealing Southall seat? Here we had Piara Khabra a communist Indian workers party <banned word filter activated> for over a decade and since 2007 a Pro-Congress Hindu! This is supposed be the centre of Sikh power in the UK! It appears to have gone from even bad to worst as at least in 2010 there was a Sikh candidate in Gurcharan Singh standing for the Tories but now there is white guy standing for the Tories. So for the Sikh voters it's a choice of an Indira Gandhi supporting Hindu or a white guy who probably doesn't have a clue about the Sikh community and it's issues are probably considers all of us as 'asians'!

So what are the plans for Ealing Southall?

I explained the Southall and Hounslow situation on another thread.

In both these constituencies (both of which house the largest number of Sikhs in the entire country) the Labour Party HQ in Walworth Road deliberately disregarded the local long standing Sikh councillors (who should have been the obvious choice to stand) and deliberately IMPOSED...i.e forced the local Sikhs and musims to accept as their candidate....a Hindu Punjabi. The Labour Party did this deliberately in Southall and then, 5 years later, deliberately did it again in Hounslow. In fac, the one in Hounslow (Seema Malhotra) is a really strange case because she has virtually no connection at all with Hounslow. Her family are a multi-millionnaire propety developers from Kensington and her one little connection with Hounslow was the fact that they also own a property in Hounslow (as well as everywhere else in the country).

So.....those 2 blatantly anti-Sikh MPs who openly act as a mouthpiece for India, was forced upon the local Sikhs by Labour party HQ. There was no debate, no little vote, no meeting, no nothing. The Labour Party treated the Sikhs of west London with the contempt Labour thought we deserved. It told the local Labour Party (who were nearly all Sikh) that there is to be no choice in the matter and that we WILL accept having a Hindu Punjabi as our candidate / MP whether we like it or not.

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