Home > News > UK Labour leader ‘wants to visit India and meet Narendra Modi’ | India News

UK Labour leader ‘wants to visit India and meet Narendra Modi’ | India News


LONDON: Labour Party leader Keir Starmer is “very keen to visit India” and wants to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to senior Labour politicians.
Indore-born Rajesh Agrawal, co-chairman of Labour Friends of India (LFIN), said: “We want to take a delegation of Labour MPs to India next year and take Keir.” When asked whether the Opposition leader would meet the Indian PM, Agrawal said: “Why would he not meet Modi? He is the prime minister of India. It is very important to engage with the global leaders of the world, whether that is whether President Trump, Macron or Modi. Governments change but the relationship between countries goes on.”
Agrawal confirmed that the controversial motion on Kashmir passed at the annual Labour conference in September 2019 “was not party policy”.
“Any constitutional issues in India are a matter for the Indian Parliament. There are all sorts of motions at conference but it does not need to go anywhere. Keir Starmer has made it clear that Kashmir is a bilateral issue for India and Pakistan to resolve peacefully,” he said.
Agrawal said he had no doubt that Labour had lost British Indian voters in the past few years but that the “Labour party is the natural party for British Indians”.
“It has always stood up for Indians by supporting Indian independence in the British parliament,” Agrawal continued, adding the Labour party on Independence Day launched the Mahatma Gandhi Future Leaders Programme to encourage greater representation from the diaspora within the party at the local and national levels.
When asked about Indian-origin Labour MPs who seemed to support an anti-India movement, he said they were “speaking for the views of their constituents” which “do not reflect Labour party policy”.
LFIN co-chairman Darren Jones explained: “Party conference motions merely express the view of the majority of people voting on the day in that conference. They are not party policy. Conference motions often depend on who is elected as a delegate and who turns up to conference on any given day. Our policy is that the issue of Kashmir is an internal one for India. It is not for the Labour party to be dictating what should and shouldn’t be happening in other countries. Where there are disputes like this, they should be resolved bilaterally, where at all possible through the UN. That is the Labour party policy. not what happened at the conference,” he said.

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