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Press release

The British Asian Conservative Link (BACL) were proud to host a celebratory dinner to honour their widely acclaimed political champion, Bob Blackman MP at the prestigious Carlton Club in London. The Churchill Room was filled with guests who had come to show their admiration for Bob on his splendid win at the General Election. Guests included Cllr Sachin Rajput – GLA Candidate for Harrow & Brent, CB Patel – Editor/Publisher of Asian Voice, Don Billson – Chairman of Harrow West Conservatives, Heather Harper – Chairman of Beaconsfield Conservatives and Cllr Ray Graham – Chairman of Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner Conservatives. Bob fought an effective election campaign and took the seat from a sitting Labour Minister – not an easy achievement.

Before proceedings began, Ameet Jogia, Chair of the BACL Youth Committee, asked guests in attendance to join him in a minute silence for the victims of the recent devastating earthquake in Japan.

Mr. Ranbir Suri, founder and Chairman of the Link then welcomed the guests and praised Bob for his determination which won him a seat in Parliament. Mr Suri also welcomed Cllr Sachin Rajput and spoke of the great need to work hard between now and 2012 to ensure that Cllr Rajput wins the GLA seat of Harrow & Brent, and at the same time, ensure that Boris Johnson is re-elected to serve as Mayor of London.

Mr. Rickie Sehgal, the Link’s General Secretary explained about the important work that the BACL was doing to encourage a greater participation in politics from the Asian community, and described how the BACL were driving forward with projects. He said “the strategy of the BACL is to build stronger ties with the Party and implement strategic project which benefit the community. These include Parliamentary Intern Program, Religious and Cultural Literacy program for MPs and working with the Party machinery in places such as Leicester where the BACL can make a difference to the outcome and offer advice and guidance”. He welcomed two BACL champions to the room; Camilla Khawaja who is standing for council election in Nascot for Watford Borough Council, and Hitesh Tailor who is standing for council election in Leavesden for Three Rivers District Council.

Cllr Sachin Rajput spoke to the guests and commented that it was a great honour for him to be invited to be a guest speaker at an event hosted by the BACL as a long time BACL member. He introduced himself as the GLA candidate for Harrow & Brent and described his past experience and his determination to serve the people of the two great areas. He described the important job that we had in ensuring a No vote in the AV referendum and then the GLA and London Mayoral elections of 2012. Sachin then spoke about the reason why the Conservative Party needs campaign strongly on the No to AV campaign, and the damage that the wrong result would have on the future of the UK.

Dr. Rami Ranger MBE, founder and Patron of the Link, then spoke about the importance of engaging in with the Asian population in Harrow & Brent. Dr Ranger praised Bob Blackman, Member of Parliament for Harrow East and guest of honour on the evening, for his determination in pursuing his political career and his commitment to working with the Asian communities throughout his career. Dr Ranger also stressed the importance of campaigning for the No vote in the AV referendum taking place on 5th May. He said the Link would work hard to win over votes in the inner cities where we still had a great deal of catching up to do. He also paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi who uttered these immortal words, “Be the change you want to see” and as a result, Asians had changed and become more publicly and politically spirited to strengthen our nation.

Bob Blackman, Member of Parliament for Harrow East, then spoke to the guests about his long association with the Asian community, the benefits that the Asian communities in areas such as Harrow and Wembley have brought to the UK, and the important role that the BACL can play in engaging with these Asian communities and encourage them to play an active role in Conservative Party Politics. Bob thanked the executive of the BACL for inviting him to be the guest of honour on the evening. He said that he was proud to be associated with the BACL, the Asian community and follow other BACL champions who the BACL have hosted dinner in honour of such as Priti Patel MP and Paul Uppal MP, both of whom were making their mark in Westminster. Bob then stressed that he was determined to see Cllr Sachin Rajput win the GLA seat of Harrow & Brent, and the personal importance to him as the former GLA member for the same area, to see the seat return to the Conservatives from the current Labour GLA member.

Hitesh Tailor thanked the speakers for their wonderful contributions to the evening and the Executive Board of the BACL for hosting the event. He also thanked the guests for their support and the management and staff of the Carlton Club for making the evening enjoyable.

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Founder and Chairman, Mr. Ranbir Suri welcoming the guests. General Secretary, Mr. Rickie Sehgal sharing his vision for the Link.
Guest1 Guest2
Guests enjoying the evening. Guests enjoying the evening.
Cllr Sachin Rajput Dr Rami Ranger
Cllr Sachin Rajput, GLA candidate for Harrow & Brent addressing the guests. Dr Rami Ranger MBE, speaking on the importance of engaging with the Asian community in Harrow & Brent.
Mr Bob Blackman MP Mr Ravi Gidar
Mr Bob Blackman MP addressing the guests. BACL Joint Secretary, Mr Ravi Gidar conducting the Q&A session.
Mr Ameet Jogia Mr Hitesh Tailor
Mr Ameet Jogia, Master of Ceremony. Hitesh Tailor – Council Candidate for Leavesden in Three Rivers District giving a vote of thanks.