London: The only Indian origin member of the British administration, Shailesh Vara, has been dropped in a reshuffle by Prime Minister David Cameron.
The last week`s development has shocked the Indian community in the UK, who were expecting Vara, who was holding a rather junior position of assistant government whip, to be promoted.
Cameron`s decision flies in the face of his recent speech at a Conservative Friends of India meeting in which he said: "When I look at the talent behind me I think we (the Conservatives) are going to be the first party to have a British Indian prime minister."
The two million people of Indian descent constitute the single largest ethnic minority group in Britain.
Yet, it has no representation in government, despite there being four Indian-origin Conservative MPs.
Vara, who sacrificed a promising solicitor`s career, was re-elected to the House of Commons from his Cambridgeshire constituency in 2010 with an increased majority.
He commanded more than 50 percent of the votes; and is the senior most of the Indian MPs.
After the Labour party lost and the Conservatives formed a coalition with Liberal Democrats two years ago, it was widely expected that Vara would at least be made a middle ranking minister of state.
Far from this, he has now been omitted from a government post altogether.
President of the Indian Overseas Congress, DL Kalhan, said "it is unfortunate that in spite of his good work Sailesh Vara has been dropped from the ministry."