Indian-Origin MP Shivani Raja, Gujarati Businesswoman, Makes History With Oath on Bhagavad Gita In UK Parliament

Gujaratis are always making headlines, Shivani Raja, a 29-year-old Gujarati businesswoman of Indian origin, has made headlines by taking her oath on the Bhagavad Gita in the UK Parliament. Raja, who recently won the Leicester East seat, celebrated her victory by swearing allegiance to King Charles on the sacred text, marking a significant moment in her political career.

Raja’s triumph is noteworthy as it ends the Labour Party’s 37-year hold on Leicester East, a traditional stronghold for the party. She secured 14,526 votes, while Labour’s Rajesh Agrawal trailed behind with 10,100 votes. The Liberal Democrats’ Zuffar Haq came in third with 6,329 votes. Other notable candidates included Claudia Webbe, who ran as an independent, and Keith Vaz, representing the One Leicester party.

In a statement on social media platform X, Raja expressed her pride and commitment to her new role. She Posted X “It was an honour to be sworn into Parliament today to represent Leicester East. I was truly proud to swear my allegiance to His Majesty King Charles on the Gita.”

Raja’s victory is especially significant against the backdrop of Leicester City’s history of conflict between the Indian Hindu and Muslim communities. In 2022, the city witnessed severe clashes between these groups, with tensions flaring up on Belgrave Road, as reported by The Guardian.

Born in Leicester to parents who migrated from Rajkot and Kenya in the 1970s, Raja’s win is seen as a major achievement. She completed her education at De Montfort University, earning a degree in Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science, and subsequently worked with major cosmetics brands in England.

Raja’s election contributed to a diverse group of 27 Indian-origin MPs in the House of Commons following the July 4th general election. Of Gujarati origin and originally from Diu, Raja’s parents relocated to Leicester from Kenya and India in the late 1970s. She completed her education at De Montfort University, earning a degree in Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science, and subsequently worked with several major cosmetics brands in England.

The 2024 UK elections also saw a record number of women and lawmakers of color elected to the House of Commons, with 263 female MPs and 90 MPs of color. Keir Starmer, the new Prime Minister, has vowed to rebuild Britain following Labour’s landslide victory, securing 412 seats out of 650. The Conservative Party, led by Rishi Sunak, experienced a significant decline, winning only 121 seats.

In one of her recent posts, she expressed her commitment to supporting Leicester’s young talent by endorsing local businesses for quality job opportunities, investing in education and training initiatives, and ensuring affordable housing options for young professionals.

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