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2010 polls create history with 89 Asian origin candidates


Prominent among them are Keith Vaz, Valerie Vaz, Manish Sood 
7th May 2010: For the first time in the country’s history, a record 89 Asian origin candidates, including Indians, were in fray for 649 posts of MPs in the House of Commons.

Conservative Party — which emerged as the largest — alone fielded 30 members from the Asian community.

Among the candidates was Keith Vaz, who has represented Leicester East for Labour for last over two decades. Vaz was born in 1956 in Aden, Yemen, to Indian parents, and had moved to Bradford in England with his family in 1965.

Bollywood superstar Sanjay Dutt had, just about three days ago, campaigned for Keith Vaz in Leicester.

Melton Road was lined for about a mile with people keen to see Dutt. He was accompanied by Raj Kundra, husband of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty.

Also in fray was his sister, Valerie Vaz, a lawyer, contesting on a Labour ticket from Walsall South. In fact, the former TV presenter was today announced as the new MP for Walsall South.

She replaces Bruce George, the Labour MP, who had held the seat since 1974 and who decided to stand down.

Indian-origin Labour nominee Manish Sood, who called Gordon Brown the "worst Prime Minister", too was in the fray for the general election. Sood is Labour candidate from North-west Norfolk.

This time, the number of Asian origin candidates was 21 more than such candidates in 2005 elections. In all, there were 68 such candidates then, and the highest number of ethnic minority MPs, 15, was declared elected.

In the 2010 general elections, Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties nominated a record 22 women of South Asian descent.

Till date, there has been no Asian woman MP and last parliament had 15 male Asian and Black MPs.

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