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  • Labour holds Ealing Southall, Tories 3rd!

    by Sunny
    20th July, 2007 at 3:00 am    

    As expected, Labour held Ealing Southall in the by-election, with a fairly comfortable majority of 5,070.

    Final results:
    Virendra Sharma (Labour): 15,188 (41.48%, -7.28%)
    Nigel Bakhai (Liberal Democrats): 10,118 (27.63%, +3.19%)
    Tony Lit (Conservative): 8,230 (22.48%, +0.91%)
    Sarah Edwards (Green Party): 1,135 (3.10%, -1.52%)
    Salvinder Dhillon (Respect): 588 (1.61%)
    Dr Kunnathur Rajan (UK Independent Party): 285 (0.78%)
    Yaqub Masih (Christian Party): 280 (0.76%)
    Jasdev Rai (Independent): 275 (0.75%)
    John Cartwright (Loony Party): 188 (0.51%)
    Sati Chaggar (English Democrats): 152 (0.42%)
    Gulbash Singh (Independent): 92 (0.25%)
    Kuldeep Grewal (Independent): 87 (0.24%)

    A 5.24% swing from Labour to Libdems.

    A huge loss for the Tories tonight, as they’ve been pushed into third place by the Libdems in Ealing Southall and the by-election in Sedgefield. Not a huge majority for Sharma, having been cut down from over 11,000, but then the turnout was much lower.

    The main point is that despite the huge efforts of the Libdem and Tory leadership, their % share of the vote barely budged. This is excellent because it shows British Asians are even more politically astute than other parts of the country, recognising that the appearance of a few bigwigs was unlikely to mean long term attention from the parties.
    Tonight, either way, Gordon Brown and his team will be celebrating.

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    1. Unity — on 20th July, 2007 at 3:06 am  

      And the ‘sectarian vote’ amounted to precisely zip…

    2. Zeno — on 20th July, 2007 at 3:15 am  

      And the ’sectarian vote’ amounted to precisely zip…

      Except in Sedgefield, where the BNP got over 2000 votes. In a constituency with practically no ethnic minorities, 2000 white voters can put the cross next to the fascists. Southall is more sane and less sectarian than the former Prime Minister’s mostly white constituency, for all the heat given off over the last few days over the West London by-election.

      In this respect, it was an especially good result and proved that the Asians, and in particular the Sikhs of Southall, are fully commited to non-sectarian politics. The contrast with Sedgefield is very clear.

    3. Sunny — on 20th July, 2007 at 3:19 am  

      The Sikh militants who have been screaming about Sharma on the blogs, and about needing a ‘visible Sikh’, for the sake of having one, must be seething tonight. Heh. Jasdev Rai, 275 votes! brilliant.

    4. Zeno — on 20th July, 2007 at 3:23 am  

      The ‘Sikh militants’ are gnats and irrelevant, most people would have said that to you before. This just proved it, despite all the hot air. Most of his votes would have been his massi’s husbands thaiya’s employees or whatever.

      In contrast to white militants like the BNP getting over 2000 votes in Sedgfield, this is a blinding result for the people of Southall.

    5. Zeno — on 20th July, 2007 at 3:28 am  

      Yaqub Masih of the Christian Party got five more votes that Rai.

      280 Christian Fundamentalists in Southall & Ealing, who’d have thunk it?

      At least he beat the Monster Raving Loony Party.

    6. Bal Singh — on 20th July, 2007 at 9:27 am  

      Labour spilt half their pint but stayed on their feet …. They have a couple of stones in their shoes now .. Would have been rooting for Labour if Jo Sidhu or Sonika Nirwal were running .. hopefully they’ll get their chance sooner rather than later ..

      ..The Tory tactics were a farce .. I’m betting that Lit Sahib will be back to his old ways, wining and dining the boys in Red …

      Credit to Nigel Bakhi and the LibDems ..

    7. El Cid — on 20th July, 2007 at 9:53 am  

      where’s praguetory?

    8. Rumbold — on 20th July, 2007 at 10:24 am  

      Purgatory perhaps?

    9. Gump — on 20th July, 2007 at 10:28 am  

      “..A huge loss for the Tories tonight, as they’ve been pushed into third place by the Libdems in Ealing Southall and the by-election in Sedgefield…”

      The Tories were third in Ealing last time.

    10. Gump — on 20th July, 2007 at 10:29 am  

      and i cant see any comment by the BBC about the BNP vote. Intentionally? i’m not sure.

    11. Leon — on 20th July, 2007 at 11:07 am  

      Prattory? Doubt we’ll see him on here gloating today. Anyway, did anyone watch it live (apart from Unity who I know was live blogging)?

      I couldn’t believe how bad in interview Tony Lit was! I was wincing at the painfully bad come backs during the interview, he got pwned by the BBC!

      The LibDem guy didn’t fair that much better and tbh I wasn’t very impressed by Sharma either…

    12. Jasvir Kaur — on 20th July, 2007 at 12:28 pm  

      Only one word could describe the quality of candidates in Ealing Southall - CRAP.

      Khabra was CRAP, now we get more CRAP.

      The people of Ealing Southall deserve much better.

      Overall poor candidates, dirty politics, police investigation, low turnout etc. and we wonder why ordinary people have limited interest in party politics.

    13. sofia — on 20th July, 2007 at 12:44 pm  

      well maybe the people who didn’t vote, have no right to complain about the lack of calibre when they couldn’t be bothered to make a change. If MPs are there to represent the consituents, its up to constituents to make sure they turn up and be heard,not shout from the sidelines.

    14. Jagdeep — on 20th July, 2007 at 1:12 pm  

      What the hell drives the people of Sedgfield to vote almost 10% for a racist fascist party? That’s the real story of the night. This definitively proves that Southall people reject sectarian politics and vote on mainstream issues — all the message board shenanigans didnt amount to three dead ants lain up side by side. Those who treat Asian voters differently or think that these elections are different are simpletons and mostly they are white middle class newspaper analysts — they need to get on the case and examine white militant sectarianism which is the main type of electoral extremism and politics of hate at the moment.

      As for Tony Lit, well he’s just a Daddy’s boy. Daddy is a millionaire, Daddy gave him what he is.

      Made me laugh when I saw Tony Lit being escorted by Tony Patti, Sunrise Radio breakfast show presenter, as if he was some kind of mafia bodyguard or something.

    15. sofia — on 20th July, 2007 at 1:25 pm  

      yeh when you look at a predominantly white area voting BNP you have got to ask why? Maybe Tony Blair needs a new job in community relations at a local level instead of playing in the big league of international “peacekeeping”

    16. Jagdeep — on 20th July, 2007 at 1:35 pm  

      We need more white people and ‘white leaders’ and white bloggers to address the extremists in ‘their community’. Arent white readers of this blog worried by the miltants in ‘your community’? Who get 10% of the vote in Sedgfield? Where is the anger and protests? Are you in denial? Why the silence, white people?

    17. Rumbold — on 20th July, 2007 at 1:50 pm  

      Voting for the BNP is all down to foreign policy.

    18. sofia — on 20th July, 2007 at 2:16 pm  

      What, like the terrorist attacks were all down to foreign policy?? is foreign policy the new bogey man??

    19. Rumbold — on 20th July, 2007 at 2:21 pm  

      I was being sarcastic Sofia. 9% of a constituency voting for the BNP is terrible, and a sad inditement of Tony Blair’s failure as a constituency MP, as well as latent racism in some of the voters.

    20. Jagdeep — on 20th July, 2007 at 2:22 pm  

      I’m dissapointed at the silence of white people on the extremism in their midst. I’ve been around the blogs and havent read anything on this. Are they in denial about white extremism? Who knows. Maybe ‘their leaders’ could protest against this, but at the moment, white extremism hasnt registered on their radar. The level of denial is shocking.

    21. sofia — on 20th July, 2007 at 3:23 pm  

      maybe you’re looking at the wrong blogs…try “Anti-Racist Whites for Britain” blog

    22. David Boothroyd — on 20th July, 2007 at 3:27 pm  

      Jagdeep, I think you’ll find there is a very active anti-BNP campaign organised by Searchlight in which the Labour candidate in the Sedgefield byelection has played no small part.

      Meanwhile, do you remember that the BNP election broadcast in 2004 included a Sikh man in a turban denouncing Islam?

    23. El Cid — on 20th July, 2007 at 3:31 pm  

      johnny foreigner is also white jagdeep

    24. Jagdeep — on 20th July, 2007 at 3:33 pm  

      Oooh David thank goodness you’re not in denial.

      10% of the vote is very extreme isnt it

      Yes the Sikh gentleman is a geriatric and senile man whose family was wiped out during partition and agreed to do a BNP broadcast because they brought him his meals on wheels. You will notice that in Southall which has the biggest proportion of Sikh voters in the country, the BNP didnt even enter a candidate, because his personal safety would be at risk should he try to peddle his racist and fascist views in a constituency that 20 years ago saw riots and the burning of pubs in which the BNP / NF gathered. Whereas in Sedgfield they got 10% of the vote.

    25. Jagdeep — on 20th July, 2007 at 3:34 pm  

      El Cid I was / am being sarcastic. Although there is a point to it somewhere I suppose.

    26. sofia — on 20th July, 2007 at 4:04 pm  

      Well I suppose what I’m wondering is what excuse 2000 people had for voting for a bunch of fascists in what was the ex PMs constituency…i swear they should have renamed him teflon man

    27. Jagdeep — on 20th July, 2007 at 4:07 pm  

      I’m very shocked and frightened by this extremism and militancy sofia.

    28. Jai — on 20th July, 2007 at 4:30 pm  

      Who knows where this could lead us. I’m sure that sooner or later, there’ll be dozens of megaphone-wielding BNP supporters protesting in Trafalgar Square, menacingly brandishing placards saying things like “Behead those who insult Bernard Manning” and “UK you will pay, Jim Davidson on his way”.

    29. El Cid — on 20th July, 2007 at 4:56 pm  

      I suspected that Jagdeep, but, as you said, there was a serious point on one level

    30. sofia — on 20th July, 2007 at 5:01 pm  

      there has to be some underlying questions as to how under a labour government, we’re seeing an increase in BNP councillors…there’s a lot going wrong on a number of levels, so where do we start at trying to make it right..this is a genuine question…any ideas?

    31. Jagdeep — on 20th July, 2007 at 5:03 pm  

      Thanks El Cid. And it’s good to know that there are some moderate whites out there like you and others.

    32. Don — on 20th July, 2007 at 5:05 pm  



      I realised you were being sarcastic and, yes, a 9% or 10% vote for the BNP is a cause for concern. But it is an iconic constituency and so we can assume that all parties gave it their best shot. And the BNP’s best shot was to get the bottom 10% of the bell curve on side. (Figure of speech, I’m no fan of the bell curve.)

      I know Sedgefield quite well, a lot of social problems within decayed former mining villages. But a relatively small non-white population. Racial intolerance in that neck of the woods has recently been mainly focused on eastern European migrant workers and a scattering of asylum seekers who are (falsely) portrayed as getting excessive access to housing and benefits. I don’t know what the BNP played as their main card, but I suspect it was that.

      And now a little name dropping. My best mate’s father was a guest at Tony and George’s pub lunch in Sedgefield. He’s old school Labour and an early supporter of Tony. I know him well enough to have asked him outright, ‘You were at table with Bush. You had a steak-knife in your hand. What happened?’

    33. sofia — on 20th July, 2007 at 5:08 pm  

      i love the blog cliff hanger…so err…wat did happen

    34. Jagdeep — on 20th July, 2007 at 5:17 pm  

      Thanks Don. I was having too much fun to use smilies and other vulgar modes of expression. It’s always good to know that white moderates like you are around too.

      Great story of your best mates Dad, by the way.

    35. Jai — on 20th July, 2007 at 5:30 pm  

      I’m going to be terrified of sitting next to some white dude on public transport in case he turns out to be a BNP supporter. I mean, how can you tell ? Better safe than sorry, right ?

      I know, I know — just because someone’s white, it doesn’t mean they’re automatically a supporter of a racist far-right party. But let’s be honest — if you’re standing on the platform waiting for the Central Line, who’s more likely to be a member of the BNP: The cockney lad from Dagenham with the “Mum” tattoo on his arm and the sovereign ring on his finger, brandishing a dangerous-looking copy of The Sun……or Dr Neena Patel, the middle-aged Asian auntie who’s friends with your mother and makes such tasty samosas ?

      Sometimes you have to say “to hell with political correctness” and be brutally frank about such things.

      I think the best way for the Great British Asian Public to be reassured is for English people to wear T-shirts saying things like “Don’t freak, I’m Greek”, and “Don’t worry, I love curry”.

    36. Jai — on 20th July, 2007 at 5:32 pm  

      English people to wear T-shirts

      Er, I meant “white people”. Cos if the bloke’s Greek, he ain’t English. Innit.

    37. Jagdeep — on 20th July, 2007 at 5:34 pm  

      “Don’t worry, I love curry”.


    38. Bal Singh — on 20th July, 2007 at 5:41 pm  

      In Response to David Boothroyd’s comment about a Sikh man in a turban appearing in a BNP video denouncing islam …

      David take another look at that video - the elderly gentleman is clean shaven and is wearing a turban and proclaims to be the voice of Sikhs .. tell what what Sikh elderly gentleman wearing a turban is clean shaven ???

      Knowing the BNP they probably cast some old struggling actor to make out he was a Sikh ..

      Nick Griffin said on BBC Five Live last month that Sikhs are the BNP’s friends NOT relatives. They would NEVER have a non white councillor/MP…

    39. Jai — on 20th July, 2007 at 5:45 pm  

      Other variations on the Anti-racist T-Shirt Initiative:

      “Don’t run like hell…..My GP’s Dr Patel”.

      “No need for fear…..I make a mean Muttar Paneer”.

      And so on and so forth.

    40. Jagdeep — on 20th July, 2007 at 5:46 pm  

      Bal Singh the guy comes from a Sikh background and lives in a care home somewhere in the north of England. His family lost everything in partition so he has a chip on his shoulder about Muslims. I imagine it’s not difficult to pick up a psychologically retarded social misfit from the gutter and put him in front of the camera. Apparently the BNP have Jewish members of staff too, so freaking what.

      David Boothroyd was being obtuse and hyper-defensively silly because I’d asked, half jokingly, where are the moderate whites in light of the BNP getting 10% of the votes in Sedgfield. In reality we know that the BNP are blood enemies of Sikhs and they got chased out of Southall 20 years ago with fire and kirpans. That’s all anyone needs to know about that subject. End of story.

    41. Jagdeep — on 20th July, 2007 at 5:47 pm  

      Jai we could make a lot of money selling those t-shirts to moderate whites, as there’s a lot of them about.

    42. Matt — on 20th July, 2007 at 7:05 pm  

      “Always next time”, I think is what a lot of Tories will be thinking tonight…

    43. C Singh — on 20th July, 2007 at 8:34 pm  

      Sunny wrote:

      Jasdev Rai, 275 votes! brilliant.

      Time you fully exposed this Dr Rai.

      Last month we saw Ramesh K of the Hindu Forum exposed by the Evening Standard.

      On his web site Rai claims:

      - Founder & Director of Sikh Human Rights Group (set up by ISYF)

      - General Secretary of the British Sikh Consultative Forum (see details below from a Google search, although BSCF details now removed from his web site - quite a collection of ex-ISYF and ex-Babbar Khalsa people)

      - Member of the Faith Communities Consultative Council (DCLG) - He should get sacked from this if the Labour Govt has any sense

      International Affairs advisor Jathedar Sri Akal Takht Sahib - What a joke!

      AND he still only got 275 votes !


      [phone numbers edited out]

    44. Anil Sharma — on 20th July, 2007 at 8:41 pm  

      C Singh no need to search

      Something on YouTube:

    45. Rumbold — on 20th July, 2007 at 9:43 pm  

      Amazing Jai.

      “UK you will pay, Jim Davidson on his way.”

      “Don’t worry, I love curry”

      Us moderate whites are going to have to watch our step. If we are not careful, we could soon be barred from all the newsagents and doctors’ surgeries in the UK. On behalf of my people, I condemn extremism.

      Zindabad! Home Counties!

    46. El Cid — on 20th July, 2007 at 10:57 pm  

      “Moderate whites”
      What you mean like with a hint of apple or barley.
      “Wha’choo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?

    47. El Cid — on 20th July, 2007 at 11:01 pm  

      And are the sweaties then ultra whites?
      What you reckon Clairwil?

    48. Jai — on 21st July, 2007 at 11:06 am  


      Jai we could make a lot of money selling those t-shirts to moderate whites, as there’s a lot of them about.

      You’re right buddy, but I still think they need to be more vocal in dissociating themselves from the racists in their midst. Where are the protest marches, the appearances on Newsnight, the forceful declarations of “Not in my name” ? Eh ? Eh ?

      I mean, apparently there are over 60 million white people in the UK. We’re absolutely surrounded by them. Even if only 10% tacitly support the BNP — and unless they explicitly come out and state the opposite, we have to assume that their silence means they “understand” if not overtly condone the fanaticism — that means a staggering 6 million white Brits approve of the actions of Bin Davidson, er I mean Jim Davidson and the “martyr” Bernard Manning (now allegedly cavorting for all eternity with 72 Essex girls). It’s an absolutly horrifying thought. Who knows what cesspools of extremism are festering away behind closed doors in curtain-twitching suburban white ghettoes like Kensington, Harrow and Chigwell ?

      I think our T-shirt proposal could definitely help reduce communal tensions; more examples are (slightly surreal) “Don’t flee like Noah, I’ve been to Goa”, and “No need to frown, I’m down with the brown”.

      We should probably have versions specifically geared for the ladies too — after all, there are female supporters of the BNP as well, and who knows what kind of explosive devices they could conceal beneath their mini-skirts and low-slung skinny-fit jeans. I’d originally thought of “Don’t hide in the loo, I fancy Apu”, but decided against it as it sounds a bit dodgy when you say it out loud, innit.


      Another way forward for moderate white folk to reassure the rest of us peace-loving Asians who just want to get on with our lives without having to deal with psychotically hateful extremists would be, for example, for them to conspicuously carry copies of “The Lonely Planet Guide to India” on the tube whilst sipping from large bottles of Cobra beer.

    49. Don — on 21st July, 2007 at 12:55 pm  

      I’m up for any gesture of solidarity which involves consuming alcohol.

    50. sid — on 21st July, 2007 at 1:06 pm  

      Or smoking hashish in large, immaculately-prepared shishas.

    51. Bal Singh — on 21st July, 2007 at 1:29 pm  

      How about ‘hash cake’ Samosa’s ?

    52. sid — on 21st July, 2007 at 1:31 pm  

      oh yes! I have a great falafel recipe ;-)

    53. Sunny — on 21st July, 2007 at 2:40 pm  

      means a staggering 6 million white Brits approve of the actions of Bin Davidson, er I mean Jim Davidson and the “martyr” Bernard Manning (now allegedly cavorting for all eternity with 72 Essex girls)

      ha ha!

    54. Jai — on 21st July, 2007 at 3:28 pm  

      I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but personally-speaking my fears will only be calmed when I see tens of thousands of ethnics — and by “ethnics”, I mean English people — holding mass peace rallies in central London whilst wearing multicoloured tie-dyed scarves and holding banners declaring “We are all Hindoostanee now”.

    55. Gurjeet Singh — on 22nd July, 2007 at 10:07 am  

      Press Release put out by the Sikh Federation (UK) on Friday 20 July 2007


      In the last few weeks there have been many twists and turns in the Ealing Southall by election. The Sikh Federation (UK) objective was to try and ensure that there was every opportunity to get the first visible and appropriately qualified Sikh elected to the Commons and to get candidates to deal with issues relevant to British Sikhs e.g. Sikh identity, human rights abuses, 1984 etc.

      It was clear from the outset that the only realistic prospects to get the first visible Sikh in Parliament and to recognise Sikhs are an important part of modern British society was if the candidate selected by the Labour Party met this requirement. This was a safe seat that Labour was likely to retain. There also appeared to be a demand within the local Labour Party membership that the time had come for this historic step.

      The first hurdle was to ensure the Labour Party opted for an open selection process. The combination of a by election and pressure exerted from several quarters ensured the selection was opened up. Six of the seven on the Labour Party long list were Sikhs, which included three turbaned Sikhs.

      So far things were on track; although it was difficult to understand why the Labour Party Selection Panel, comprising Keith Vaz, Mike Griffiths and Norma Stephenson, chose to ignore excellent outside candidates and Labour loyalists, such as Dr Harkirtan Singh, while other less able outsiders were included. It remains a mystery why some formidable candidates that could have united the party were excluded from the long list. Although this would probably have resulted in a stronger shortlist and possibly a different Labour candidate.

      The big question was who would make it to the short list. Most assumed this would be down to the performance of individual candidates on the long list as they would each be put to the test and a short list of at least 4 candidates would emerge based on past practice in arriving at shortlists.

      However, the Labour Party Selection Panel astounded local Labour Party members, councillors, Labour MPs and Ministers in only selecting two for the shortlist. By pitching the unknown Jo Sidhu against the veteran Virendra Sharma the selection panel were not only deciding who would be the Labour Party candidate, but were also in effect deciding who would be the next MP for Ealing Southall.

      Most have concluded the short listing process was a scandal and should never be repeated. When the two names were announced it was a sad day for democracy in the Labour Party and for the people of Ealing Southall.

      Meanwhile the Conservatives were coming up with their own strange selection process in deciding who would represent them. There were several local visible Sikhs with a history in the Conservative Party who appear to have been ignored. In selecting the new recruit and political lightweight, Tony Lit, the Conservatives were taking a huge risk in going for someone with no real political allegiances or pedigree. Embarrassingly most have become aware of this since seeing the infamous photograph released at the weekend. This has proved a costly mistake for not only the Conservative Party, but for those who defected from Labour who have been left in the political wilderness.

      At the start of the campaign the defection of Labour councillors to the Conservatives put the Liberal Democrats on the back foot and the revelations about Tony Lit’s donation to Labour came too late for sufficient votes to switch to the Liberal Democrats to reduce or overturn the Labour majority. It would have been much more interesting between Labour and the Liberal Democrats if the run up to the by election had been more than the 3 weeks. The outcome may well have been different with Labour and the Conservatives still recovering from shooting themselves in the foot with their selections and showing contempt for the electorate of Ealing Southall.

      What about the three independent turbaned Sikhs on the ballot paper? Kuldeep Singh Grewal and Dr Gulbash Singh withdrew after a few days and urged their supporters to vote Labour and Conservative respectively. Despite their withdrawal and a total absence of any campaigning – posters, leaflets, adverts, speeches, media interviews, web sites etc. they still received 87 and 92 votes respectively.

      The third turbaned Sikh, Dr Jasdev Singh Rai, claimed from the outset he was in it to win, given around 25% of the constituents were Sikhs and his wider appeal to other communities. He unrealistically maintained this line along with those supporting him, right up until the result was announced in the early hours of this morning. Questions need to be asked why Dr Rai therefore only received 275 votes despite his extensive campaign under the slogan ‘No Party, Just People’.

      The Ealing Southall by election has been one of the most controversial ever – divisive selections, defections, dirty politics, police investigation etc. No wonder the turnout was low and ordinary people want less and less to do with party politics. Hopefully, many have had their fingers burnt and learnt a few lessons.

      Gurjeet Singh
      National Press Secretary
      Sikh Federation (UK)

    56. Jai — on 22nd July, 2007 at 11:48 am  


      If we are not careful, we could soon be barred from all the newsagents and doctors’ surgeries in the UK.

      Let’s not forget about the pharmacists. Everyone always forgets about the pharmacists.

      They’re a deeply misunderstood race.

      On behalf of my people, I condemn extremism.

      I am considerably reassured that there are still moderate whites like you out there who are prepared to boldly speak out against the enemy in our midst.

      I salute your indefatigability.

    57. douglas clark — on 22nd July, 2007 at 12:31 pm  


      Whilst all of this is quite amusing and fair comment to boot, it does not address the threat the killers pose. What’s to be done about them?

    58. Jai — on 23rd July, 2007 at 9:01 am  


      Could you please clarify which “killers” you’re referring to ? Thanks.

    59. Richard Venn — on 23rd July, 2007 at 3:41 pm  

      Gurjeet Singh,

      The voters of southall essentially rejected sectarian politics. Dr Rai stood on a “turban platform” and he was basically humiliated. The Labour party was wise not to yeild to your demands of a “All Turban Shortlist” as it was bourne out that there really isnt any support for it.

      The call for a visible Sikh in the HoC on the basis that you would like one is as absurd and unrealistic as expecting a visible Sikh on the English Cricket Team for no other reason than they are turbanned (as opposed to being prodigiously talented)

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