Rishi Sunak, the Indian-origin former UK Chancellor, retained the lead in the fourth round of voting on Tuesday to succeed Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. The race has now come down to just three, with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and junior trade minister Penny Mordaunt battling against Mr Sunak. British lawmakers will select the final two candidates to become the next Prime Minister on Wednesday. Boris Johnson, the scandal-ridden outgoing leader, resigned earlier this month, triggering an unseemly fight within the ruling Conservative Party to replace him.
If Mr Sunak is chosen the Prime Minister, the UK will become sixth country when a person of Indian descent will be holding the highest position.
A comprehensive list has been released by Indiaspora, a US-based non-profit organisation representing the community globally.
Here are some prominent names on the list:
- Antonio Costa, prime minister, Portugal
- Mohamed Irfaan, president, Guyana
- Pravind Jugnauth, prime minister, Mauritius
- Prithvirajsing Roopun, president, Mauritius
- Chandrikapersad Santokhi, president, Suriname
- Kamala Harris, vice president, United States
In Mauritius, nine heads of state, including Mr Jugnauth and Mr Roopun, have been of Indian origin. Similarly, Suriname has seen five presidents from the community. Also, four heads of state in Guyana and three in Singapore were of Indian descent.
Apart from these countries, Trinidad & Tobago, Portugal, Malaysia, Fiji, Ireland and the Seychelles too have chosen an Indian-origin head of state.
Polls show both Ms Truss or Ms Mordaunt would beat Mr Sunak in the crucial vote scheduled later today, even though he has led previous rounds of voting by Members of British Parliament.
Whoever triumphs when the party vote is announced on September 5 will inherit some of the most difficult conditions in Britain in decades. Inflation is on course to hit 11 per cent annually, growth is stalling, industrial action is on the rise and the pound is near historic lows against the dollar.