Watch: Car Rally In UK To Show 'Unwavering Support' For PM Modi For Lok Sabha Polls

The rally began at the Kutch Leva Patidar Samaj Complex in Northolt and culminated at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Neaden.

Over 250 cars participated in the rally, showcasing widespread support for the BJP and PM Modi


'Overseas Friends' of BJP UK organised a car rally in London to showcase 'unwavering support' for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling party at the Centre ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The rally began at the Kutch Leva Patidar Samaj Complex in Northolt and culminated at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Neaden.

The rally kicked off with vibrant cultural performances, setting the stage for a dynamic display of solidarity and enthusiasm, according to a press release by the 'Overseas Friends of BJP'.

Over 250 cars participated in the rally, showcasing widespread support for the BJP and PM Modi ahead of the general elections in the country. 

The members of the community in Britain, who took part in the rally, were pictured holding up the Indian Tricolour as well as BJP flags, the release added.

Also taking part in the rally, UK Parliamentarian and Padmashri recipient, Bob Blackman, addressed members of the Indian community after the car rally culminated at the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in London. He stressed the significance of the event and the pivotal role of the Indian community in shaping the future of their homeland.

The event, in support of PM Modi and the BJP, was organised on a day when the Election Commission (EC) notified the dates for the Lok Sabha elections.

Describing the upcoming general elections in the country as the "biggest exercise of democracy", Mr Blackman said, "Obviously the Indian election is a massive election. It is the biggest exercise of democracy anywhere in the world. And I have a little prediction for you, a majority with 400-plus. Now the friendship between India and the United Kingdom has grown stronger and stronger ever since we have been involved in government and BJP gained power in India."

He said the UK looks to India as a 'fantastic growing economy', adding that New Delhi and London are holding negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement and have already signed a friendship agreement on cooperation in defence and security.

"The old colonial days are well over. We look to India now as fantastic growing economy and it's grown as an economy because of the BJP government we were recognized. So still we are still trying to negotiate between the United Kingdom and our friends in India a free trade agreement. Do you remember Boris Johnson promised it by Diwali? He didn't say which year. We've now just had the 14th round of trade negotiations. So, there's still further work to do," Mr Blackman said.

"But we do have that friendship agreement with India signed on cooperation on defence, on security and, indeed, leading to the Free Trade Agreement. Now that's going to give India, United Kingdom a tremendous opportunity. So there's a lot at stake for both countries. But if we can get this over the line then the opportunity for growth is enormous," he added.

Expanding on the burgeoning Indian economy, he said, "India's economy is on the route to being the number one in the world. And, of course, that has been driven by the growth that is taking place in India right now. The United Kingdom is still growing. Our economy is sluggish but is growing, which is good news. So, what we've got to do is make sure that happens. And, therefore, the reelection of the BJP government is important to that (for the British economy to recover and grow). So, you (community) play a big part in making sure that Narendra Modi is still Prime Minister and the BJP still runs the government."

The Conservative MP for Harrow East also praised British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak while urging people, including the Indian community, to support him for his re-election in the polls.

"Now, not only do we have a wonderful government in India but a wonderful prime minister (Sunak), who's Indian. So we need all of you to help us make sure that Rishi is still prime minister after the general election. And indeed, I need all of you to make sure I'm still an MP as one or two people have kindly said, I'm the most pro Indian MP in Parliament. So without me, you lose your voice in Parliament," Blackman said.

The 'Overseas Friends of BJP', UK is a dynamic organisation committed to fostering camaraderie and support for the Bharatiya Janata Party among the Indian community in the United Kingdom.

Earlier, on Saturday, the Election Commission announced that the general elections would be held across seven phases, with the first on April 19. The counting of votes has been scheduled for June 4, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar informed.

The last date for filing nominations for the first phase of polling is March 27, the Election Commission informed, adding that voting for the Lower House of Parliament in Phase 1 would be conducted across 21 states and Union Territories. 

Phase 2 of the elections will be held on April 26, with the last date for filing nominations scheduled for April 4. The second phase will cover 12 states as well as UTs.

The third phase of polling will be held on May 7, the election watchdog said, adding that nominations could be filed till April 19. 

The third phase of voting will cover 12 states as well as UTs.Phase 4 of the elections will be held on May 13, with the last date for candidates to file nominations scheduled for April 25.

Polling in the fourth phase will be held across 10 states and UTs.The fifth phase has been scheduled for May 20 and the last date for candidates to file their nomination papers is May 3. Polling in this phase will cover 8 states and UTs.

The last two phases of the elections have been scheduled for May 25 and June 1 respectively, the poll panel stated, adding that the last date for filing nominations for these phases is May 6 and May 14.

The sixth phase will cover 7 states and UTs while the final phase will see polling across 8 states and UTs.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)