London, Jan 16 (IANS) Indian-origin member of British parliament and vice chairman of Britain's Conservative Party Alok Sharma has been named co-chairman of Conservative Friends of India (CF India), an Indian community organisation affiliated to the party.
Sharma, an MP for Reading West in Berkshire county, replaces Shailesh Vara, MP for North West Cambridgeshire, who has stepped down following a promotion to government as minister for courts and legal aid.
Sharma will be working alongside Ranjit Baxi who is also the group's existing co-chairman.
Alok has been a CF India Board member since its launch by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012 and also serves as vice chairman of the Conservative Party.
"I look forward to working with Ranjit and the rest of the team at CF India as we build further links with the British Indian community and campaign for Conservative success in 2015 and beyond," Sharma said in a statement posted on the CF India website Thursday.
Lord Andrew Feldman, chairman of the Conservative Party said: "I am delighted to welcome Alok Sharma as the new co-chairman of Conservative Friends of India. Alok brings with him a wealth of campaigning experience and will be a huge asset to CF India. I look forward to working with him to ensure that the party continues to build on its strong ties with the British Indian communities".
Congratulating Sharma, Baxi said: "Alok's longstanding association with the Indian community and his work in promoting Indo-British ties will be very much welcomed by the Indian community and CF India members. I very much look forward to working with him."
CF India seeks to build stronger links between the Conservative Party, the British Indian community and India.