British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it was “special’’ to be visiting India again, a country which he revealed referrred to him as its son-in-law.
The Conservative Party leader is due to arrive in New Delhi on Friday ahead of the weekend’s G20 summit.
He is the first British prime minister of Indian descent and was a regular visitor to the country before being promoted to chancellor by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The promotion came shortly before the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
Sunak was born in Hampshire, in England, to Indian migrant parents a pharmacist mother and a doctor father.
The 43-year-old is married to Akshata Murty, the daughter of NR Narayana Murty, the founder of Indian IT giant Infosys and a major figure in the country.
Sunak was asked by reporters travelling from London to the Indian capital with him what it meant to be returning to India as Britain’s prime minister.
He said: “of course it is special. I’ll be visiting a country that is very near and dear to me.
“I haven’t been back for a few years. I was meant to go actually in 2020.
“We take our family typically in February half term every year, and I got made chancellor right before.
“I didn’t get to go with the rest of my family then, so I haven’t been for a little while.’’
He continued: “It is obviously special. I saw somewhere that I was referred to as India’s son-in-law, which I hope was meant affectionately.
“But look, I’m excited to be back. It is nice to have Akshata with me as well.’’
The prime minister has not shied away from talking about his Indian origins and love for cricket.
He has also spoken about his abstinence from beef on religious grounds as a devout Hindu.
In 2020, he told reporters: “I am thoroughly British, this is my home and my country, but my cultural heritage is Indian.’’
During his time in New Delhi, Sunak is scheduled to visit important Indian cultural and religious sites, with a trip to a Hindu temple planned during his three-day stay. (dpa/NAN)