India-born businessman Sudhir Choudhrie has been appointed party adviser on India by Tim Farron, the recently elected Liberal Democrat leader, in a bid to strengthen the party’s ties with the British-Indian community.
As the adviser, Choudhrie would aid Farron in learning more about the UK-Indian community including their needs and concerns. Choudhrie would also be advising the party on further improving Britain’s foreign and business relationships with India.
Farron has been stressing the need for the Lib Dem party to increase diversity. At the recent Lib Dem election he revealed his ambition to reach out to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, because he believes it is essential that the party stays close to the people it’s going to serve.
“India is a key strategic partner for the United Kingdom and the British-Indian community contributes so much to our country. I am determined that the Liberal Democrats do all we can to maximise the economic, cultural and social benefit of these relationships.” Farron said in a statement about India.
On Choudhrie’s appointment as a party dignitary, he said, “Sudhir has been a committed supporter of the Liberal Democrats for many years and I look forward to being able to draw on his vast business experience, unparalleled network in both the UK and India, and wise political counsel.”
The decision came at a pivotal moment, nearly overlapping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s UK visit. Besides, Farron himself has promised a visit to India in 2016.
Expressing the need for minority communities to come up mainstream, Sudhir Choudhrie remarked: “I have long believed that the Liberal Democrats best embody the internationalist and pro-enterprise values that characterise the British-Indian community. India, with its ever vibrant and expanding consumer market of over 1.2 billion people, and home to more than a quarter of the world’s millennials, is slated to emerge as the world’s third largest economy by 2030, which makes the country extremely attractive. It is thus, critical that both India and UK collaborate on a common agenda of growth and I am honoured by Tim Farron’s decision to ask me to fulfil this role, especially coinciding with Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK.”