Srinagar: Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said the election of Sadiq Khan as the new mayor of London was an example for all cities around the world even as he wondered whether any city in India would ever vote a person from a minority community to such an important post.
"Well done #London. @SadiqKhan's victory shows the world that you don't need to scare people in to voting for you. An example for all cities," Omar wrote on micro blogging site Twitter.
"Gotta wonder if any of our cities in India would ever vote a second generation immigrant from a minority community to such an important post," he said.
The 45-year-old Pakistani-origin Sadiq Khan won 57 percent of the vote to easily beat Zac Goldsmith (43 percent). His tally of 1,310,143 votes gives him the largest personal mandate of any politician in British history, The Guardian reported.
Seeking to put behind him a campaign that saw his rivals portraying him as an “extremist” and distributing pamphlets aimed at Hindus, Sikhs and Sri Lankans, and the campaign that even invoked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name to garner Hindu votes, Khan said that his victory showed that “Londoners have chosen hope over fear and unity over division”.
In his victory speech, Khan referred to his humble origins on a council estate and said he had never imagined that "someone like me could be elected as mayor of London," promising to be a mayor "for all Londoners".
Son of a Pakistani bus driver who grew up to become a human rights lawyer, an MP and later transport minister in the Gordon Brown government – making him the first Muslim minister to attend a cabinet meeting — Khan’s is the quintessential heart warming immigrant success story.
With his win, Khan – London’s third mayor after Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone – has ended eight years of Conservative control of City Hall and helped boost the morale of party leader Jeremy Corbyn on a day Labour were beaten into third place in Scotland by the Tories and had a poor showing in England and Wales.