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New Zealand Sikh MP’s Wish List To PM Modi Includes Direct Flight To India

VARANASI – The first Indian to be nominated to New Zealand Parliament Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi has been assured by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to start a direct flight between New Zealand and India.

Speaking to The Tribune, the four-term MP based in Manukau East said soon after PM Modi’s inaugural speech asking every Pravasi Indian to convince at least five non-Indians living in their country to visit India to promote tourism, he walked up to the PM to point out that there was no direct flight between the two countries.

“PM Modi nodded promising to look into this”, said Bakshi, who has also handed over a wish list to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj that includes granting dual citizenship and representation for Pravasi Indians in the Rajya Sabha.

He expects these measures would go a long way to help overseas Indians participate and collaborate more fully in areas like education, healthcare and innovative practices as well as provide inputs about latest developments in their respective countries.

Bakshi is the son of a Delhi-based Akali Dal leader Jagdev Singh.

“As politics ran in my blood I became active over there soon after my arrival in 2001. I started lobbying for representation for Indians and was first offered a seat in Parliament the very next year in 2002, but I refused as I felt too new to represent the country. In 2005, I was first nominated and since then have been re-nominated four times,” pointed out Bakshi.

His younger son Rijakjit Bakshi, a flight instructor and commercial pilot, has accompanied him to the 15th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas.

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