Ankit Love, a British-Dogra musician who calls himself the “Maharaja of the sovereign state of Jammu and Kashmir”, is the youngest candidate in the London Mayor race.
However, his is quite a mysterious party. Not too many know about his 'One Love Party', what it stands for or how he got in the electoral race.
"When people hear about the fairytale background story which has led us to being listed as a party in the running, we know we'll get the vote," he said in an interview. "But right now, I can't reveal too much."
Ankit, 32, is the son of Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party patron Bhim Singh. He grew up in Surrey and set up the ‘One Love Party’ last year with former Cambridge University graduate Finn Grant in "a dorm room".
The party has promised several things: To make air pollution in London a priority, promote green cars and hydrogen fuel stations, ensure free higher education and legalisation of cannabis under a licence system.
Ankit is in the electoral race along with a bus driver’s son and a billionaire’s son.
His party is the 'least funded' and the 'youngest' one -- but the 32-year-old is quite confident of winning the elections. "But if we've got this far knowing all of this, we can win it and I know we'll win it," he said.
He also feels his is the "best looking party."
Ankit's LinkedIn profile describes him as a music artiste, filmmaker and founder of Ankit Love Productions. In 2012, his short film Whale! and documentary Runners premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. His profile also describes him as “His Highness The Emperor (Maharaja), Sovereign State of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Talking to Indian Express about the attack on Kashmiri students for allegedly refusing to chant “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, Ankit says, “Who shall support me in bringing justice for my abused subjects?”
"Born under the armed guard” in 1983, Ankit said his mother named him Love with the hope that he would bring peace to the region. He reportedly moved to the UK in 1989 for security reasons on account of his family’s political engagements.
However, Ankit's father is not too happy with Ankit's decision to join politics. "I wish Ankit had not joined politics. Politics ruined our family,” he said.
Over 200 years ago, Ankit's ancestors were killed and buried in the fort at Ramnagar in Udhampur district. According to historians, Singh’s ancestors (of the Thakkar clan) were killed by then Raja Suchet Singh (of the Dogra dynasty), who was the brother of then Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu.
"We're not politicians, we're revolutionaries and this happens when fundamentals change too much in a city and people aren't getting change faster," he said.
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