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Business News/ News / World/  'I felt that I could make a difference': Rishi Sunak's 100 days as UK PM
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'I felt that I could make a difference': Rishi Sunak's 100 days as UK PM

Rishi Sunak took charge at 10 Downing Street a day after Diwali last year on October 25
  • His government is facing some of the biggest strikes in British history as nurses, teachers, transport workers, and civil servants take industrial action demanding better pay
  • Rishi Sunak marked his 100th day in office as the first non-white British Prime Minister (AP)Premium
    Rishi Sunak marked his 100th day in office as the first non-white British Prime Minister (AP)

    Rishi Sunak marked his 100th day in office as the first non-white British Prime Minister on Thursday. In a TV interview, Sunak revealed why he chose to become the prime minister of the UK. "For me it’s about duty. There’s a concept in Hinduism called dharma, which roughly translates into duty and that’s how I was raised. It was about doing the things that were expected of you and trying to do the right thing," Sunak said.

    The UK's first Indian-origin Prime Minister took charge at 10 Downing Street a day after Diwali last year on October 25 in the wake of intense political turmoil when his predecessor Liz Truss resigned serving as Prime Minister for just 45 days.

    Sunak said, "Even though it was going to be a nightmare job… I felt that I could make a difference and was the best person to make a difference at that moment, especially given the challenges that people were facing, and what they were seeing with their mortgages and that’s ultimately why I put myself forward to do it knowing that it would be challenging but ultimately doing what was my duty in that situation. I believe deeply in service and thought I could make a difference for the country".

    The 42-year-old, who swore his oath of allegiance on being elected member of Parliament in the House of Commons on the ‘Bhagavad Gita’, has often spoken about his Hindu faith giving him strength.

    The UK-born son of National Health Service (NHS) doctor Yashveer and pharmacist Usha has spoken of regular visits to the temple with his family and during last year’s leadership campaign. He paid a visit to a Hare Krishna temple on the outskirts of London for Janmashtami to seek blessings.

    Sunak faces multiple challenges and pressures, including having to recently sack Conservative Party chair Nadhim Zahawi as a minister without portfolio in his Cabinet after an investigation found he had breached the ministerial code over his tax affairs.

    He faced intense Opposition pressure over the issue and continues to be challenged over his decision to keep his deputy prime minister, Dominic Raab, in the post while he is being investigated over multiple bullying allegations by civil servants.

    "Integrity is really important to me," he said recently, pledging to "take whatever steps are necessary to restore the integrity back into politics".

    "The things that happened before I was prime minister, I can't do anything about. What I think you can hold me to account for is how I deal with the things that arise on my watch," he added.

    Besides, his government is facing some of the biggest strikes in British history as nurses, teachers, transport workers, and civil servants take industrial action demanding better pay and working conditions.

    Recently Sunak said he would "love to give the nurses a massive pay rise" but pointed out that he could not, as doing so would stoke inflation.

    “Even if it’s not popular, it’s the right thing for the country to stay the course to beat inflation," he said.

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    Published: 04 Feb 2023, 07:18 AM IST
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