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'Hindu voters in UK can play a crucial role in poll outcome'

Asking the Hindu Community to make their votes count, UK's largest representative body of Hindus has said that the community could play a crucial role in some key marginal seats in the general election scheduled for May 6.

india Updated: Apr 09, 2010 14:25 IST
HS Rao

Asking the Hindu Community to make their votes count, UK's largest representative body of Hindus has said that the community could play a crucial role in some key marginal seats in the general election scheduled for May 6.

Hindus in Britain number well over 750,000 and make contribution to the country, far in excess of their numbers and with signs of a possible hung parliament, the Hindu vote could be pivotal in some seats, the Hindu Forum said today.

Though dispersed throughout UK, sizeable numbers of Hindus are concentrated in certain areas like the suburbs of London and the southeast, Leicester, West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Yorkshire.

In some of these areas, Hindu vote may have a significant impact on who represents them and addresses their concerns in Parliament.

But many British Hindus still feel that Government and decision-makers are failing to address many of their concerns, despite being the third largest faith group, the Forum said in a statement.

The Forum is implementing a campaign to encourage the community to engage with their prospective parliamentary candidates and to air their views before making an informed decision as to which party to vote for.

As part of the campaign, the Forum will be organising local hustings, distributing information through temples, community centres and other mediums to raise awareness on the importance of voting.

Arjan Vekaria, President of the Forum said, "Voting is a most important civic right yet large number of Hindus abstained from voting in the past but in this general election, more than any other, the Hindu vote could be a deciding factor, so we urge Hindus to get out and vote intelligently. Our campaign aims to encourage Hindus to make their vote count".

"Like many other communities, Hindus are concerned about access to public services, health, education, employment, security, crime, housing and environment but there are also many other specific issues that hamper community cohesion.

"Hindus are a silent but very influential minority yet many feel that the country's politicians and decision makers largely ignore their concerns so with the parties being so close Hindus should use this opportunity to engage with their parliamentarians, air their concerns and get some commitment to resolving issues that prevent them from practicing their religious rights and beliefs, Vekaria added.