Rishi Sunak, the former British chancellor of Indian origin, retained the lead in the fifth round of voting on Wednesday to succeed Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister. The race is now down to two, with British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss battling Mr Sunak. Boris Johnson, the outraged incumbent leader, resigned earlier this month, sparking an unseemly fight within the ruling Conservative Party to replace him.
If Mr Sunak is chosen as Prime Minister, the UK will become the sixth country where a person of Indian descent holds the top job.
A Exhaustive list was published by Indiaspora, a US-based non-profit organization that represents the community globally.
Here are some prominent names on the list:
- Antonio Costa, Prime Minister, Portugal
- Mohamed Irfaan, President, Guyana
- Pravind Jugnauth, Prime Minister, Mauritius
- Prithvirajsing Roopun, President, Mauritius
- Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President, Suriname
- Kamala Harris, Vice President, United States
In Mauritius, nine Heads of State, including MM. Jugnauth and Roopun, are of Indian origin. Similarly, Suriname has seen five community presidents. Additionally, four heads of state in Guyana and three in Singapore were of Indian descent.
Besides these countries, Trinidad and Tobago, Portugal, Malaysia, Fiji, Ireland and Seychelles have also chosen a head of state of Indian origin.
Polls show Ms Truss or Ms Mordaunt would beat Mr Sunak in the crucial vote due later today, even though he has led previous rounds of voting by members of the UK Parliament.
Whoever triumphs when the party vote is announced on September 5 will inherit some of the toughest conditions in Britain for decades. Inflation is on track to reach 11% per year, growth is stagnating, industrial action is on the increase and the pound is close to its all-time low against the dollar.