Dr. Veda Pratap Vaidik
Liz Truss is announced as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. She has become the third female Prime Minister of the UK defeating Conservative Party candidate Rishi Sunak. Liz was the foreign minister in the previous Boris Johnson government. Rishi Sunak who lost to Liz Truss got 43 percent votes and the winner polled 57 percent.
Rishi Sunak who contested for UK’s topmost political post is not of British origin. He is of Indian origin. He was born to a Gujarati father and Punjabi mother. Despite this, Sunak got 60 thousand votes against Truss’s 81 thousand votes. This is a matter of pride for Indians. An Indian almost reached the throne of the same Britishers who ruled India for almost 200 years.
Sunak had shown his mettle to quit as finance minister from Boris Johnson’s cabinet and the government in power collapsed. Sunak was regarded as a capable and effective Finance Minister, but certain silly allegations diminished his image. His victory would have become a remarkable event of the 21st century, but in the statement he made despite losing the election one can see a glimpse of Indian generosity and dignity. Sunak congratulated Truss and described the Conservative Party as a family.
It is difficult to predict what kind of a Prime Minister Liz Truss will prove to be. No one can dislodge her from power for the next two years but how she will be able to win her party in the 2024 elections remains to be seen. She will have full support from Boris Johnson, but her current condition is like that of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
Liz Truss has taken charge as Prime Minister at a very vulnerable time. The situation in the UK was not so bad in the past several decades. The country is under severe stress, thanks to a sluggish economy, escalating inflation, unemployment, epidemics etc. The country’s economy is in terrible distress. Common man is very worried about paying government taxes. However Truss has announced that her government will not hesitate to reduce taxes.
But many trade unions in Britain have already announced their decisions to go for agitation. The British media has started criticizing many of the statements she made as foreign minister in the previous regime. But his anti-Russian policy regarding Ukraine has received considerable support. It seems she has made up her mind to end Britain’s relationship with the European Union.
Liz Truss, as Prime Minister of UK will also be active in opposing the Indo-Pacific policy of Russia and China. The Russian government has ridiculed the Prime Ministership of Truss, but despite the defeat of Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister of India, Sri Narendra Modi has congratulated her for the victory.
One need not be surprised if a free trade agreement between India and Britain is signed during the Truss regime in the near future. She has visited India twice in the capacity of Foreign Minister. It is also possible that some leaders of Indian origin find a place in her cabinet with important portfolios. It would prove beneficial for the British leader who defeated the Indian origin Rishi Sunak, if she shows some extra generosity towards India.
*Dr. Vaidik is a widely travelled scholar-journalist. He has visited more than 80 countries on diplomatic and educational missions. Dr. Vaidik has won more than a dozen National and International awards for academic and journalistic excellence. He has been a member of several Advisory Committees of Government of India.