Parties have fielded a large number of Indian-Australian candidates for Saturday's state elections in Victoria, an indication of the growing profile of the Indian community Down Under. The ruling Liberal Party has nominated nine Indian-Australian candidates for the lower and upper houses of the state parliament. The number assumes significance considering the fact that the total number of Liberal Party candidates (for the two houses) is 94.
The Liberal Party is also addressing the Indian Australians' complaint of under-representation in mainstream politics.
"I am happy to state that the Liberal Party is addressing the issue, as can be noticed from the number of candidates that the party has endorsed for the forthcoming state elections," said Liberal Party candidate from Bundoora Amita Gill.
"The Liberal party is sincere in promoting bilateral ties and relationship with India as can be ascertained from Prime Minister Tony Abbot's visit to India and subsequently Prime Minister Modi's visit to Australia," said Gill, who hails from Punjab.
Victoria is, incidentally, the most preferred destination for the Indian migrants with Indians forming 2.1% of Victoria's approximately six million (60 lakh) population.
The issues in these elections include
health, education, jobs, traffic management and infrastructure investment.
Besides Amita Gill, the other Indian-Australians in fray are George Varughese, Moti Visa, Tarun Singh, Gandhi Bevinakoppa, Phulvinderjit Grewal, Dinesh Gourisetty and Amandeep Rosha (all Liberal Party), Jude Perera and Sanjay Nathan (both Labour); Perky Raj Khangure, Gurm Sekhon and Alexandra Bhathal (all Greens).