Hindu power play at UK polls

Voting

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 on Friday.

Though dispersed throughout UK, sizeable number of Hindus are concentrated in certain areas like the suburbs of London and the south east, 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 organizing 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.

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