London, May 7 (IANS) Indian origin Labour candidate Virendra Sharma, formerly a bus conductor, Friday retained the Ealing Southall constituency in the British general election.
Sharma polled 22,024 votes, defeating closest rival Conservative Gurcharan Singh (12,733 votes). Liberal Democrat candidate Nigel Bakhai stood third.
The others in the fray but who lost badly were Green Party’s Suneil Basu, Christian Party’s Mehboob Anil and English Democrats’ Sati Chaggar, BBC reported.
Sharma was first elected as MP from Ealing Southall in July 19, 2007 during a by-election called following the death of the sitting Labour MP, Piara Khabra.
Born in India, Sharma speaks fluent Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu apart from English. The grandfather-of-three came from India in 1968 and started out as a conductor on the 207 route.
He enrolled in the London School of Economics on a Trade Union Scholarship.
The Ealing Southall constituency covers Dormer Wells, Ealing Broadway, Ealing Common, Elthorne, Greenford Broadway, Lady Margaret, Norwood Green, Northfield, Southall Broadway, Southall Green and Walpole.
According to the 2001 census, the constituency has a high British Asian population – around 39 percent, the majority being of Indian origin.