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Saturday, December 09 2023
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Rishi Sunak inching towards 10 downing street

Photo Credit : IANS

Rishi Sunak must be keeping his fingers crossed because even though he has won all the rounds till now of voting by Members of Parliament of Conservative Party  to place a member of their party in the coveted post of Prime Minister of England, he has still to face the final more  crucial voting round.

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss are the only ones left who will contest in the final round to replace Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

International Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt lost out to Sunak who is still leading with 137 votes,  and  to Truss who received 113 votes from the Conservative Members of Parliament.

The final decision makers will be Conservative Party’s 200,000 card holding party members  who will select the winner in a mail-in ballot. The winner, to be the PM of England will be  announced on September 5.

It is here it is felt that Truss may beat Sunak to be the eventual winner because Sunak’s socialist leanings and belief that stricter financial management and taxation may take England out its present economic mess.

Despite some initial surveys giving Truss (favourite of party’s right wing and Johnson loyalist) the thumbs up among the ordinary members of the party. On whom they finally put their faith on, is a million dollar question ?

Sunak has won each of the five rounds of voting by lawmakers. In the earlier round Mr Sunak got 118 votes, Penny Mordaunt got 92, Liz Truss got 86 votes. While slowly but surely former UK  Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, Member of Parliament for Richmond (Yorks)of Indian descent  seems to be inching towards becoming the next Prime Minister of Britain, it will all depend finally on how the card-holding  grassroot members of the Conservative Party vote.

In an earlier round Rishi Sunak had  topped in the voting of Conservative Party leaders contesting for the PM post,which had left only four contenders for the post of UK Prime Minister.

With a wide margin Rishi Sunak  has left the other four contenders in the fray far behind. While  former Equalities Minister  Kemi Badenoch got 58 votes, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss got 71votes, former Defence Minister Penny Mordaunt got  82 votes, Rishi Sunak got 115 votes. Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee Tom  Tugendhat, was eliminated from the contest securing just 31 votes at that time.

In the next round Rishi got just three more votes, while Liz Truss got 15 more votes, making people feel that she might eventually face Sunak which she has done.

Rishi Sunak has been holding onto his lead in all the rounds till now and seems to be clearly the front runner despite Boris Johnson to have made it clear that he did not want Rishi Sunak in his position.

Prime Minister Johnson was forced to offer his resignation when following number of scandals he lost support within his own party and a spate of senior and important Conservative leaders resigned from their positions in his Cabinet led by Finance Minister Rishi Sunak.

It was Rishi Sunak’s resignation which started the spree of resignationa forcing Boris Johnson to step down. Rishi Sunak has  been the frontrunner among Conservative lawmakers despite being blamed by some for his role in Johnson’s downfall.

Whoever takes over from Johnson has to come up with solutions to the high inflation and low economic growth besetting England today.

Winner Sunak is supposed to have declared, “I am prepared to give everything I have in service to our nation. Together we can restore trust, rebuild our economy and reunite the country.”

How much people have a faith on his ability to bring back UK’s economy on rails has to be seen in the coming days.

In the election system of the Conservating party, the Conservative Members of Parliament vote for the contesting candidates in different rounds with the candidate receiving the least number of votes  being  dropped from the contest in each round.

Subsequent ballots eliminating the candidate with the fewest votes each time, has brought  the contesting candidates down to a final two. The new leader will then be finally chosen from those two by the country’s 200,000 Conservative Party members.

Rishi Sunak is popular among the MPs as his results shows at the moment but polls amongst the members of the party has shown favourite being Liz Truss.

Rishi Sunak’s motto says, Restore Trust, Rebuild the Economy, and Reunite the Country. According to him clearly these were the three most important challenges facing UK today.

Rishi says, “I got into politics because I want everyone in this country to have the opportunity to be able to give their children a better future”.

Rishi from Indian descent says “I grew up watching my parents serve our local community with dedication. My dad was an NHS family GP and my mum ran her own local chemist shop.”

Rishi resident of Kirby Sigston, Northallerton, became MP first in 2015 and was re-elected in 2017 and 2019.

A businessman he co-founded a large investment firm, working with companies from Silicon Valley to Bangalore.

“I have seen first-hand how politicians should support free enterprise and innovation to ensure our future prosperity,” he says.

Having studied at Winchester College, Oxford University and Stanford University, he is “passionate about ensuring everybody has access to a great education”

He met his wife, Akshata, in California and has two daughters, Krishna and Anoushka.

In July 2019 he was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury, having entered Government service as the Minister for Local Government in January 2018. In February 2020, he was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer  which post he held till July 2022.

He enjoys watching movies and keeping besides playing cricket and football.

At present Conservative party enjoys majority in the U.K. Parliament having 358 of the 650 seats following the general elections in 2019.

Even internally within the Conservative party it is a tough contest to be elected as the person who would be the Prime Ministerial candidate.

By Satyen Mohapatra

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