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Flying Finn from Punjab
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
After a record success of Indian-Canadians in the 40th general elections to the House of Commons, yet another Punjabi has scripted a political success story. This time it is in Scandinavian country of Finland.

The successful person is none other than Ranbir Singh Sodhi of Dhuri who has made it to the Council of Governors of Vantaa, a province in Finland. The council enjoys the same status as a state assembly in India. He has become the first ever South Asian in general and Punjabi in particular to be elected to the august house of Finland.

It is indeed a rare honour for an immigrant to get majority vote from a community where his own community is in less numbers.

Early this month, nine Indian-Canadians of Punjab origin, were declared elected to the House of Commons in Canada. Sodhi has been elected as a candidate of the Social Democratic Party, which is one of the largest political outfits of Finland. The term of the Council is four years. 67 members are elected to the council every four years.

Sodhi, who migrated to Europe after his postgraduation in economics and finance management, has settled in Hiekkaharju city, one of the four largely populated cities of Vantaa province. Interestingly, Sodhi runs a nightclub in partnership with his brothers.

“It is a major step forward by the small and responsive Indian community in Finland. There are around 200 families of Indians in general and Punjabis in particular in the country and it is an honour to be elected to the state council,” said Sodhi, maintaining that it is a dream come true for him.

Sodhi is enthusiastic about forging better trade and commerce ties between Punjab and Finland. “There is a tremendous scope for improving the economic and trade relations as Finland can lend its expertise in several areas to Punjab and vice versa. There is also substantial scope for strengthening cultural ties between Vantaa and Punjab.

Infrastructure development and social welfare of Vantaa are his immediate priorities. The biggest airport in Finland, Helsinki, is in Vantaa state. Besides the Vantaa airport, Sodhi also wants to concentrate on the Herreka science centre. “I want to live up to the expectations of the people of my Assembly segment as well as my state,” he declares hoping to visit Punjab soon.



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