Rishi Sunak will become British prime minister on Monday after other candidates withdrew from the race to lead the Conservative Party. Penny Mordaunt, the last rival left after Boris Johnson dramatically pulled out, failed to secure the necessary 100 nominations from her fellow MPs.

Sunak, a wealthy Hindu descendant of immigrants from India and East Africa, will have the task of steering a deeply divided country through an economic downturn set to leave millions of people poorer.

In India, several political leaders across party lines, took to Twitter to congratulate Sunak.

Former Union minister and veteran Congress leader P Chidambaram said I there is a lesson to be learned by India and the parties that practise majoritarianism.

“First Kamala Harris, now Rishi Sunak. The people of the U.S. and the U.K have embraced the non-majority citizens of their countries and elected them to high office in government. I think there is a lesson to learned by India and the parties that practise majoritarianism,” Chidambaram tweeted.

Before the results were announced, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “If this does happen, I think all of us will have to acknowledge that theBrits have done something very rare in the world,to place a member of a visible minority in the most powerful office. As we Indians celebrate the ascent of @RishiSunak, let’s honestly ask: can it happen here?”

Congratulating Sunak, Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha said “history comes full circle”.

“Today, as India celebrates Diwali in its 75th year as an independent nation, the UK gets an Indian-origin Prime Minister. History comes full circle. Congratulations, @RishiSunak and Happy Diwali!” Chadha tweeted.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Priti Gandhi tweeted: So its confirmed. On Diwali day, @RishiSunak to make history as Britain’s first Indian origin, Hindu Prime Minister. Who would have imagined the tables would turn in just 75 years!!”

Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta also congratulated Sunak.

“A historic day! Congratulations @RishiSunak on being elected Prime Minister of Great Britain. The first ever Indian origin PM of UK. People of Indian origin across the globe are proud of you,” Gupta tweeted.

While congratulating Sunak, Trinamool Congress firebrand MP Mahua Moitra, said “may India be more tolerant and more accepting of all faiths, all backgrounds”.

“Proud of the UK, my second favourite country for placing a British Asian in Number 10. May India be more tolerant and more accepting of all faiths, all backgrounds,” Moitra tweeted.

Sunak’s victory marks a remarkable turnaround in political fortunes for the former finance minister, who lost out to outgoing Prime Minister Liz Truss just last month after his popularity among party colleagues did not translate in the wider Tory membership vote.

Truss on Thursday announced her resignation as the Prime Minister after just 45 days in office, following an open revolt against her leadership in the Conservative Party.

The UK-born son of Indian-origin general practitioner father Yashvir and pharmacist mother Usha had spoken extensively of his migrant roots during the last campaign and also referenced making history by lighting Diwali diyas at 11 Downing Street as the first Indian-origin Chancellor of the Exchequer.

(With inputs from agencies)

By Shadab

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