Wednesday 27 November 2019 6:50 AM UTC
By Tara John, CNN
London Nov 27: On a recent November evening, Bob Blackman scrolled through his phone in a nondescript Indian restaurant in west London, sparsely decorated except for stock pictures of East African sunsets and lions.
He proudly pointed to his phone’s background photo, which shows him smiling next to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I’ve been to India seven times in the last three years,” Blackman said, sipping a cup of chai, his cheeks flushed from canvassing in the cold, ahead of Britain’s first December election in nearly a century. “I am well-known for being a very pro-Indian supporter.”
Across the table, Kuldeep Singh Shekhawat, the head of a UK-based pressure group linked to Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), chimed in: “A hundred percent.”
Blackman is a three-term member of Parliament for Harrow East, a racially and religiously diverse constituency where 28.2% of the residents are Hindu.
The Conservative Party politician has a track record of championing Indian — more specifically, Hindu — concerns.
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