Gosal’s Win Shows More Indians in Scotland Voting Conservative: Pam Gosal becomes the first Indian woman to be elected to the Scottish parliament. She won as a candidate for the Conservative Party, towards which a lot of Indians have gravitated in recent years. Her win underlines a firm Indian voice in the political world of Scotland – and that could become increasingly significant in view of a new expected push for independence, even though the Conservative Party stands for union with England. Gosal has been director of the Conservative Friends of India Scotland. “It’s a privilege to be the first female MSP elected to the Scottish Parliament from an Indian background,” she tweeted.
Sadiq Remains London Mayor But with Fewer Votes: Sadiq Khan has been re-elected Mayor of London as expected – but not with quite as wide a margin as predicted. Khan did not win the first round outright after his Conservative opponent Shaun Bailey gained strong ground in the days just before the election. Khan won only after the second preference of voters was taken into account. He, however, claimed “an overwhelming mandate.” But he did buck the trend of Labour falling well behind the Tories in local elections around England.
Indian Covid Strain Now Variant of Concern in UK: The grading of the Indian virus has finally been raised in the UK from a variant under observation to a variant of concern. The principal concern is the speed at which it spreads – as India knows too well. There seems less concern at the moment that the variant is more dangerous than earlier variants; transmissibility is not the same as seriousness. But of particular concern in Britain already is the community clusters in which the virus is being detected; one cluster has surfaced in Bedfordshire, home to a large Indian community. That now is the third cluster after the first two clusters surfaced in London and in north England.
Team India to Have Relaxed Time before World Test Title Match: No one can say that the Indian cricket team will not be well-rested before it turns up in England for the World Test Championship final game against New Zealand from June 18. The Indian team will enter what is being called an eight-day bio-bubble from May 25. The team is due in England on June 2, and will then go into a ten-day quarantine as required by new procedures. These procedures have made an exception for the Indian team; as normal rules currently go, Britain is allowing only British citizens and Indian residents in Britain from India.
OCI Card in Focus as Portuguese PM Gets One: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s gift of an OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card to Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa found an echo through the India-EU summit on Saturday when Costa displayed that card proudly to all EU leaders present. But away from the proud moment at the summit, the OCI card has been downgraded by the Indian government. Permission is now required from the Foreign Regional Registration Officers for OCI cardholders who propose to engage in missionary, Tablighi, mountaineering, or journalistic activities. Good that the Portuguese PM is not planning to engage in any of these in India.