Meera Sonecha, is a British-Indian whose family migrated to the UK in the 1970s. She played a crucial role in two recent elections. The first one 2015 general election, where David Cameron bagged majority Indian votes with his Neela Aasman (Blue Sky) campaign song. The second one is the West Midlands mayoral election which saw Andy Street winning the seat at a Labour bastion with less than 5000 majority. British Indians overwhelmly supported Street. Meera and her team even organised a “Mumbai Street Party” to treat the guests with spicy Indian food. The lady behind the two successful campaign is now contesting from Leicester South.
, 26, has studied PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) at the University of Warwick. After that she worked with Sir Edward Garnier. Later she joined the Conservative Friends of India as Executive Officer. Asian Lite meets her during a busy campaign day.
1) Why do you want to become an MP?
I believe that Parliament is a very effective body for initiating positive change in society. Legislators can really work towards creating a society that works for everyone.
2) Three changes you want to implement in your constituency
I want to help Prime Minister Theresa May negotiate a Brexit deal that works for all in Britain, especially my constituents at Leicester South. I will work with the hospitals to make sure that they are able to cope with the growing population of Leicestershire. The recent £48m investment in the A&E department of the Royal Infirmary was a great start which needs to be built on.
I will work with the universities to make sure that the students there are receiving the support and world-standard education they deserve.
3) Are you confident of winning this seat. Why?
I think it is definitely time for change – we can’t go on supporting candidates from the Labour Party as a vote for them is a vote for Jeremy Corbyn. There is a strong feeling in the community against the Labour leadership and most of them now believe only the Conservatives can provide a stable and credible government.
4) Why do you want the electorate to support Conservatives in this election?
The Conservative Party is the only Party with a credible plan for Brexit, with a strong and stable leadership that can guide our country and negotiate the best deal for our country, and the only Party that can continue to deliver a strong economy for the people of Britain
5) What is your vision for post-Brexit Britain?
I would be looking to working with Commonwealth countries such as India and Pakistan to bring investment and increase trade in areas such as financial technology, agriculture and the pharmaceutical industry.
6) The BAME community is still under represented in the parliament and government. What is your take on it?
I think we have made some good developments but that there is still a long way to go before our Parliament looks anything like the people of Britain. I think there are some very good Conservative candidates from the BAME community and I would encourage people to go out and support them.
7) As a community, British Asians are still hesitant to join main stream politics. What is your advise to the new generation on politics and nation building?
The British Asian community has really come to this country and prospered over the past 50 years. There are many good examples of successful Asian businesspeople, doctors, lawyers, but not so much in politics. I think it is definitely time to mobilise politically and to join political parties, stand for local and national elections and really represent the communities we come from
8) Who is your role model in politics?
I think at the moment Scottish Conservative party leader Ruth Davidson is a great role model for any female looking to enter the field of politics – and of course the strength and commitment of our Prime Minister Theresa May is also very inspirational.
9) A brief summary of your education, career, political career and family
I studied Philosophy, Politics and Philosophy at the University of Warwick and have since then worked in the House of Commons for Sir Edward Garnier and as the Executive Officer of Conservative Friends of India, as well as on the recent Andy Street campaign in the West Midlands. I have represented the United Kingdom in the Commonwealth Youth Parliament in South Africa and have also worked, in my spare time, on a centre-right political magazine. I was born and raised in Leicester – my father and uncle run a family business in town – I have two sisters and have recently got engaged.