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HomeNews ReportsHindu MP Shivani Raja wins from Leicester East, which saw anti-Hindu violence in 2022...

Hindu MP Shivani Raja wins from Leicester East, which saw anti-Hindu violence in 2022 – the first non-Labour win in 37 years. Read details

Shivani Raja emerged victorious as she received 14,526 votes, followed by Rajesh Agrawal of Labour in second place with 10,100 and Zuffar Haq of the Liberal Democrats in third place with 6,329. Claudia Webbe and Keith Vaz, Leicester East's two former MPs, came in fourth and fifth, respectively.

In a big win for the conservatives in Leicester East, Conservative candidate Shivani Raja has won the elections. This is the first time in 37 years that a non-Labour candidate has won in Leicester East. It is noteworthy that Leicester East has historically been a strong hold of the Labour Party. Despite a Labour-wave election, Shivani Raja won from the very area which saw anti-Hindu violence in 2022.

Shivani Raja emerged victorious as she received 14,526 votes, followed by Rajesh Agrawal of Labour in second place with 10,100 and Zuffar Haq of the Liberal Democrats in third place with 6,329. Claudia Webbe and Keith Vaz, Leicester East’s two former MPs, came in fourth and fifth, respectively. Vaz represented the One Leicester party receiving 3681 votes, while Claudia Webbe ran as an independent getting 5532 votes. The voter turnout here was 61%.

Source: Leicester Mercury

Notably, Shivani Raja is a first-generation British citizen born in Leicester and an unapologetic Hindu. According to her website, Shivani Raja’s parents moved to Leicester from Kenya and India in the late 70s. She completed her education at De Montfort University. She graduated in Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science and later worked with some major cosmetics brands in England.

Last month she joined the celebration of 50 years of Sanatan Mandir in Leicester.

Earlier last month she joined spiritual preacher Giribapu’s “Shiv Katha” programme in Leicester East.

Amidst a wave in favour of the Labour Party in national elections, Conservative leader Shivani Raja triumphs on Labour stronghold

The centre-left Labour Party is set to secure a decisive victory in Britain’s general election. This outcome ends a 14-year reign of the Conservative Party and positions Labour leader Keir Starmer to assume the role of prime minister imminently.

Being a Conservative candidate, Shivani Raja has achieved a historic victory in the Leicester East seat, traditionally a stronghold of the Labour Party. This win is particularly significant given the constituency’s long-standing allegiance to Labour, making Raja’s triumph a noteworthy shift in the political landscape. Leicester East, a home to diverse communities, has consistently supported Labour candidates for decades, making this Conservative win a remarkable political change.

Notably, Claudia Webbe had in the past openly supported Khalistani separatists and their so-called ‘referendum’ last year after a mob of frenzied Khalistanis laid siege on the Indian High Commission in London. She was earlier expelled from the UK’s Labour Party after being found guilty of harassing a woman named Michelle Merritt for 18 months.

Moreover, the victory of Shivani Raja, a Hindu candidate, is also symbolic given the recent history of the area. In 2022, Leicester East was the epicentre of violence against Hindus, resulting in tensions within the community. The unrest highlighted deep-seated issues that needed addressing. It underscored the importance of representation and leadership that could bridge divides and take a strong stand against anti-Hindu elements there. Raja’s win can be seen as a significant step towards healing and progressing from the incidents of 2022. Her election signals a desire for change and a move towards a more inclusive and representative leadership, aiming to ensure peace in Leicester East.

Anti-Hindu Leicester violence

In 2022, Leicester witnessed a series of anti-Hindu violence, marking a significant escalation in communal tensions. OpIndia reported that the unrest began in September 2022 following a cricket match between India and Pakistan, quickly spiralling into clashes. Hindu homes, businesses, and places of worship were targeted, leading to widespread fear and insecurity within the community. The violence was fueled by misinformation and inflammatory rhetoric on social media, exacerbating the already volatile situation. Police intervention was necessary to restore order, and several arrests were made. The events highlighted deep-rooted issues of communal discord and the need for robust measures to ensure the safety and harmony of all communities in Leicester.

A  fact-finding report, presented by the Centre for Democracy, Pluralism and Human Rights (CDPHR) before the UK’s House of Commons revealed how the Leicester attack on the Hindu community was a direct assault on “democratic institutions and rule of law.” It added that the attack on Hindus was a direct fallout of territorial tensions and localised majoritarianism. It must be mentioned here, that Leicester East is a Muslim-dominated area with a minority Hindu population. OpIndia extensively reported that anti-Hindu violence was instigated by individuals like Majid Freeman, and Mohammed Hijab among others, who spread inflammatory content and misinformation.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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