IN the United Kingdom, the Overseas Friends of the BJP is meddling in the upcoming General Elections, calling for support for the Conservatives and spreading misinformation against the Labour Party.
The outfit – affiliated to India’s ruling far-right party BJP, is indulging in an openly Islamophobic WhatsApp campaigns to intervene in the UK elections.
A report in the Guardian titled ‘British Indians warn Hindu nationalist party not to meddle in UK elections’ says the BJP campaign is not getting much traction among British South Asians.
British author Peter Jukes compared the campaign of the Overseas Friends of the BJP to Russian or Israeli interference, calling it “illegal”. In July, Canadian officials had warned of potential election interference from the BJP in Canada’s upcoming elections. At Modi’s Howdy Modi event , PM Modi had shared a stage and campaigned for President Trump. A report by Sunny Hundal in Open Democracy observed, “It is extremely unusual for a group explicitly tied to a foreign political party to openly declare its intent to campaign for a specific British political party during an election”, noting that the pro-BJP outfit has announced that “it will target Britain’s only two Sikh MPs – Tan Dhesi and Preet Gill – both of whom are Labour, and replace them with Conservatives.”
Urging Labour not to succumb to far-right BJP pressure to roll back its statement on Kashmir, South Asia Solidarity Group issued a statement saying “Groups like Hindu Council UK which are quoted simply as ‘charities’ in the media have a long history as mouthpieces of the Hindu Far-Right and try to influence the wider Indian-origin community but do not represent it. There is no clear evidence that the Kashmir motion will lose votes for Labour and in our experience most Indian diaspora voters are more concerned with issues which affect their lives in Britain.”