Sunday, June 23, 2024

Rishi Sunak as British PM, rare opportunity and formidable challenge

Rishi Sunak, the UK’s new Prime Minister will be the first Indian-origin leader to take the top post in Britain. He has a rarest of rare opportunity and a serious challenge before him. Will he be able to turn Britain around and make its economy viable again and prove that the Brexit decision was right? If he can do that the Conservative party can expect to win the elections due after one and half years. If not it will be the Labour party that would rule the country next. Now Labour party is more popular than the Conservative Party. It is for Rishi Sunak to prove that his party deserved to continue in power even after the elections.  

First it was Boris Johnson to backout  and then Penny Mordaunt. With two quitting the race, Rishi Sunak was the only one left. Six weeks after losing to Liz Truss, Sunak has occupied the centre stage when Britain was searching for replacement to Truss who resigned six weeks after being in office. Indians, wherever they are, consider the news as a Diwali gift from Sunak. As finance minister in the Cabinet headed by Boris Johnson, Rishi lighted diyas at his residence on Downing Street on Diwali day.  

“The United Kingdom is a great country but we face a profound economic crisis. That’s why I am standing to be Leader of the Conservative Party and your next Prime Minister. I want to fix our economy, unite our party and deliver for our country,” Sunak tweeted announcing his candidature. He was former finance minister of Britain. The 42-year old Sunak was backed by 142 MPs .

Rishi Sunak took oath as MP from Yorkshire, on the Bhagvad Gita, in Parilament. He was the first UK parliamentarian to do so. Sunak said Bhagavad Gita often rescued him during stressful times. He often talks about his family and the values and culture he inherited from his parents. Rishi Sunak is a Stanford University graduate and a former investment banker. It was on the Stanford campus that he met Akshata for the first time. He commuted to  Bengaluru with his wife and children to spend time with Murthy and Sudha.

Sunak is a rich Indian descendant born to immigrants from India and East Africa. He is worth 700 million pounds with investments in properties. Askhara supposed to be wealthier than the Queen of England.  His father Yashvir Sunak was a physician working for National Health Service and Usha Sunak was running a drug store. He is married to Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy and  Sudha Murthy. Sunak plays cricket for pleasure and in order to keep fit.

Rishi Sunak is the third prime minister of UK in seven weeks. Truss who pipped him to the post in the internal elections of the party had quit the top job saying that she cannot deliver the mandate. Boris Johnson, his previous boss, who entered the fray has quit suddenly saying that he cannot hope to head the united party. The other contender Penny Mordaunt could not secure the required support of one hundred MPs.  London is facing an economic crisis due to rising interests as well as recession. Truss had to resign as she was not able to manage economy and made series of mistakes. The British MPs think that Sunak is equipped to deal with the economic situation and put Britain back on the rails. It is an opportunity and a challenge to Sunak.

K. Ramachandra Murthy
K. Ramachandra Murthy
Founder & Editor


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