Ankit Love, a young Dogra musician with roots in Jammu and Kashmir, is an unlikely candidate for the high-profile election of the next London mayor on May 5 but he insists he is a serious aspirant with definite plans for the metropolis.
Love, 32, is the son of Bhim Singh, former president of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party. Of the 12 candidates in the election, the two main ones are Zac Goldsmith (Conservative) and Sadiq Khan (Labour), but they face some challenge from the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.
Brimming with enthusiasm, Love realises the challenge he faces. He told Hindustan Times on Wednesday that even if he were to get 1 or 2% of votes, that would be a great beginning for his political party – One Love Party – registered last October.
“I find that mainstream British and Asian news organisations don’t think I am a serious candidate. Of course, I am a serious candidate. They don’t understand what I represent and promise to the people of London,” Love said.
His main promise is on the issue of air pollution, which causes thousands of deaths every year. As mayor, he would ban all vehicles that run on fossil fuels and offer a structured plan for the benefit of Londoners.
“I come from a political family, I have experience of this. Even if I am unsuccessful, people will know me after the elections. We have plans to spread to other European countries and want Britain to stay in the EU,” he said.
For India, Love – a British citizen now – has plans for peace in Jammu and Kashmir and reunification of India and Pakistan.
Love arrived in Britain as a six-year-old in 1989 and studied art and music in Surrey and California. Other than his political ambitions, he has worked in films, music, theatre and magazines.
He regrets that the Narendra Modi government has removed the security cover for his father and evicted him from VP House in New Delhi.