PATEL BACKS ‘REMARKABLE CONTRIBUTION’ AS MODI SALUTES CHANGE
CONSERVATIVE MP for Witham, Priti Patel, paid tribute to the Indian diaspora as she stressed the role of parliamentarians in bringing countries closer.
Patel, who is leading a parliamentary delegation in India, also praised India’s leadership in the future of the Commonwealth ahead of a CHOGM (Commonwealth heads of government) meet in London later this year.
Addressing a gathering of Indian-origin parliamentarians in Delhi, the British MP said: “Our PIO (persons of Indian origin) parliamentarians offer leadership to our community and encourage a new generation to aspire to new highs and positions across British society which only a generation ago were considered to be a dream.”
She also outlined how people-to-people links can be improved, saying lawmakers can build bridges where bureaucrats couldn’t and urged India to play a part in shaping the future of the Commonwealth.
Patel said: “The contribution that British Indians have made to the United Kingdom is remarkable, covering all walks of life, and that also applies to our parliamentarians from all political parties and backgrounds, whose belief in family, in community, in enterprise and belief in serving others is self-evident.”
In his remarks, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi urged Indians abroad to act as a “catalyst in India’s growth” and added his government was ushering in “irreversible and far-reaching” reforms to boost the country’s economy.
“In the last three-four years, the world’s impression about India has changed. The focus on us is increasing. The main reason for change in the world’s focus towards India is because India itself is changing, it is transforming,” Modi said on Tuesday (9).
The prime minister called on the Indian community abroad to be partners in the country’s development. “We consider the diaspora as our partners in India’s development,” Modi said.
“Whenever I’m on an official tour of a foreign country, I try to meet with the Indians residing there because I believe that the Indian diaspora is the permanent ambassador for bilateral relations with countries all over the world,” he added.
The day-long PIO Parliamentarian conference was attended by 134 elected representatives from 24 countries.