Why is India's son-in-law Boris Johnson's win good for New Delhi?
Photo: Narendra Modi/Twitter

Boris Johnson is slated to continue his tenure as the Prime Minister of UK. He has incidentally also vowed to have Brexit completed by the end of January 2020.

On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today took to Twitter to congratulate Johnson for his "return with a thumping majority".

"I wish him the best and look forward to working together for closer India-UK ties," Modi added.

Results showed the Boris-led Conservative won 326 of the 650 seats in the lower House of Commons, according to Sky News and BBC. Johnson, 55, said the victory would give him a mandate to "get Brexit done" and take the UK out of the EU next month.

Days before the country voted him to power, Johnson had vowed to partner with his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his mission to build a new India.

"British Indians have played a vital role in helping the Conservatives win elections in the past. When I told Narendrabhai [Modi] this, he just laughed and said Indians are always on the winning side," he had said.

So, what does Johnson's win actually mean for India-UK ties?

Johnson, during his visit to India as the foreign secretary, had emphasised on the need for creation of a free trade pact with India that would be ready for signing when Britain exited the EU.

More recently, in August 2019, Modi had a "good" meeting with his British counterpart Boris Johnson and discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in areas like trade, investment, defence and education on the sidelines of the G-7 Summit.

Later, Johnson said that the discussion had involved the possibility of a free trade agreement.

"We agreed to strengthen our cooperation, not just on the security side where clearly the UK and India stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight against terror but also in military cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region where we share many interests. The discussions also included free trade" he was quoted by PTI as saying.

India is at present is third largest investor in Britain, while the European nation ranks fourth for India. India is also one of the biggest job-creators for the UK.

In an indirect reference to Labour's perceived anti-India stance over the issue of Kashmir, Johnson had recently noted: "There can be no place for racism or anti-India sentiment of any kind in this country".

Many speculate that he will help crack down on Khalistani separatists and their supporters too.

A third possibility lies in the extradition of India's fugitive economic offenders, such as Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, which could be simplified for India by the UK.

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