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First non-White, Sunak is also youngest to take UK PM office in over 200 years

Conservative party's Rishi Sunak will become the first Hindu and the first person of colour to become Britain's Prime Minister. Read More

Monday October 24, 2022 10:35 PM, IANS

First non-White, Sunak is also youngest to take UK PM office in over 200 years

London: Conservative party's Rishi Sunak will become the first Hindu and the first person of colour to become Britain's Prime Minister. At the age of 42, he is also the youngest person to take the office in more than 200 years.

The result of Monday's contest caps a spectacularly rapid rise to the pinnacle of British politics, CNN reported.


Political Journey

Rishi Sunak was first elected as an MP in 2015 and spent two years on the backbenches, during which Brexit dominated the political agenda. Sunak supported leaving the EU during the 2016 referendum.

He subsequently became a junior minister in former Prime Minister Theresa May's government.

It was another former Prime Minister Boris Johnson who gave Sunak his first major government role when he first appointed him as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 2019, and as the Chancellor in 2020.

Sunak won popularity during the early weeks of the pandemic when he unveiled an extensive support plan for those unable to work during lockdown.


But the "Partygate" scandal that took down Boris Johnson also tarnished his reputation, and he became archrivals with Johnson after quitting his government earlier this year.

Sunak Economic Plan

Sunak has remained tight-lipped on his policy plan in the last few days but he was widely seen as the more moderate of the two candidates in the last leadership contest over the summer. Compared to Liz Truss, he took a softer line on matters like Brexit and the economy, CNN reported.

T.V. Mohandas Pai, former Director of Infosys and current Chairman of Manipal Global Education, said that this is a time that every Indian should be happy as a person of Indian-descent is becoming the Prime Minister of the UK.

He, however, stressed that Sunak's prime loyalty would be towards the UK, and for him, India is another country. "India should not think that it will be benefitted. Rishi is the citizen of the United Kingdom."

"We should see the development, feel proud and respect it, and we should be silent," Pai stated.

Niraj Patil, former Mayor of the London Borough of Lambeth, told media that it is a matter of pride for every Indian.

Sunak's Bengaluru Connection

Bengaluru, India's Silicon Valley, was overjoyed after Rishi Sunak, the son-in-law of tech giant Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy, made it to the post of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on Monday.

The first Indian-origin Prime Minister in waiting has a Bengaluru connection in the form of his wife Akshata, the daughter of Narayana Murthy. Sunak had married Akshata in 2009.

Sunak Family

[Rishi Sunak with wife Akshata and his in-laws in a file photo.]

Bengaluru and Karnataka which is celebrating the festival of lights with fervour, erupted in joy after Sunak's historical victory.

It is a great day, historical day for Karnataka as Sunak is the son-in-law of Infosys founder Narayana Murthy.

Sunak's in-laws Narayana Murthy and Sudha Murthy are celebrities in their own right. Narayana Murthy is the founder of Infosys and Sudha Murthy commands huge respect for her philanthropy and literary pursuits.

Celebrations at Infosys

The staff at the office of Bengaluru-based tech giant Infosys on Monday cheered the news of Indian-origin British Conservative politician Rishi Sunak making it to the post of UK Prime Minister, terming the development "double Diwali dhamaka".

There was a palpable enthusiasm among the Infosys employees as many sat glued to television screens to stay updated about the political events unfolding in London.

A collective cheer rang out among a group of young IT professionals when it became clear that Sunak had the field all to himself after his sole contestant Penny Mordaunt withdrew.

"It is a double Diwali dhamaka for us. We sat before the television just like we were glued to watch the nail-biting cricket match between India and Pakistan. The Diwali celebration started on Sunday itself. The election of Rishi Sunak, on the day of festival, made us extremely happy and proud," Harsha Kumar, a senior software engineer said.

"It is a matter of honour. It showcases our prowess and it is a proud moment for the whole country," said Chandrashekar Sundar, another software professional.

"It's an emotional connect for me," said Rahul, a software engineer.


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