London, UK: British Sikhs have expressed opposition to any proposed visit by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to the United Kingdom. Mr Modi was recently invited by some British MPs of the Labour and Conservative parties to address them.
The Sikh Federation of UK joined several Muslim groups in the boycott.
“We welcome the fact that the UK government has not invited Modi, but oppose the tiny minority of pro-Indian Labour and Conservative MPs led by Barry Gardiner, the Labour MP from Brent North, and Sailesh Vara, the Conservative MP from North West Cambridgeshire, who have recently sent Modi invitations and want him to address UK MPs,” said Amrik Singh, chairman of the Federation.
“Mr Modi has shown animosity and hatred towards minorities in India, including Sikhs, Christians and Muslims,” he added, saying that they will lobby the UK government to oppose his visit.
The move comes after a Muslim group – Council of Indian Muslims – in an open letter addressed to the UK government expressed “utter disgust” over an invitation to Mr Modi.
The UK government, like the US, had distanced itself from Mr Modi in the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots until late last year when the British high commissioner to India, James Bevan, made diplomatic overtures towards the Gujarat chief minister.