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19 Indian-Canadians elected to Canadian parliament

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Toronto: The Indian-Canadians more than doubled their representation in the Canadian parliament from eight to 19 as Canadians voted out the Conservative Party by handing out a landslide to the Liberal Party on Monday.

While longest-serving MP Deepak Obhrai won for the seventh time from Calgary Forest Lawn, outgoing minister of state Bal Gosal and four-time MP Nina Grewal were prominent Indian-origin Canadians who lost the elections.

Bal Gosal lost to fellow Indian-Canadian Ramesh Sangha of the Liberal Party in Brampton Centre, and Nina Grewal of the Conservative Party lost in Fleetwood-Port Kells, British Columbia.

But the biggest surprise was created by Darshan Kang of the Liberal Party who won the Calgary Skyview seat for his party for the first time in 50 years by beating fellow Indian-Canadians Devinder Shory of the Conservative Party and Sahajvir Singh Randhawa of the New Democratic Party (NDP).

The outgoing minister of state Tim Uppal retained his seat by beating Amarjeet Singh Sahi of the Liberal Party and Jasvir Deol of the NDP in Edmonton Mill Woods.

Most Indian-Canadian victories came in Canada’s biggest province of Ontario as many seats in Brampton and Mississauga cities went to Indian-Canadian candidates.

In Brampton East, Raj Grewal of the Liberal beat Harbaljit Kahlon of the NDP and Naval Bajaj of the Conservative Party. Naval is the former president of the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce.

In Brampton West, Kamal Khera of the Liberal Party beat Ninder Thind of the Conservative Party.

In Brampton North, Ruby Sahota of the Liberal Party beat outgoing MP Parm Gill of the Conservative Party and white Sikh Martin Singh of the NDP.

In Brampton South, Sonia Sidhu of the Liberal party beat Amarjeet Sangha of the NDP.

In the newly demarcated constituency of Mississauga-Malton in the Toronto area, former MP Navdeep Bains got elected once again by beating Jagdish Grewal (an independent after he was kicked out by the Conservative Party over his write-up on homosexuality).

In Mississauga Streetville, Gagan Sikand of the Liberal Party was also elected.

Raj Saini of the Liberal Party won from Kitchener Centre – not far from Toronto.

Bardish Chagger of the Liberal Party also won from Waterloo- again not far from Toronto.

Bob Saroya of the Conservative Party won in Markham-Unionville – another constituency in the Toronto area.

In Don Valle East, Yasmin Ratansi of the Liberal Party was elected.

Chandra Arya of the Liberal Party won from Napean in the Ottawa area.

In British Columbia, Harjit Sajjan of the Liberal Party beat Amarjeet Nijjar of the NDP in Vancouver South.

In Surrey Centre, Jasvir Sandhu of the NDP beat Sucha Thind of the Conservative Party and Randeep Sarai of the Liberal Party.

In Surrey-Newton, Sukh Dhaliwal of the Liberal Party again won after a gap of four years by beating Jinny Sims of the NDP and Harpreet Singh of the Conservative Party.

In Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, Jati Sidhu of the Liberal Party won.

Interestingly, Anju Dhillon of the Liberal Party became the first Indian-Canadian to win a seat – Dorsal-Lachine-LaSalle – in the French-speaking Quebec.

 

(IANS)

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Justin Trudeau’s Government Selects Indo-Canadian Rana Sarkar as Consul-General to San Francisco

The Indo Canadian is also a member of the team that is negotiating NAFTA

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Indo-Canadian
Rana Sarkar. Wikimedia

August 05, 2017: Rana Sarkar, an Indo-Canadian who was until recently national director for high growth markets at the Toronto-based multi-national KPMG, has been named by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government as Canadas Consul-General to San Francisco.

Simultaneously, Sarkar has also been named a member of the high-profile Canadian official team for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the US and Mexico.

The Indo-Canadian community is elated over this very high profile appointment:

“Rana Sarkar (previously President of Canada-India Business Council) brings an impressive array of skills to his new position as Consul General in San Francisco,” says Kasi Rao, currently President of Canada-India Business Council and Vice-President of Asia-Pacific Foundation. “First, Rana is a global Canadian and has operated in multiple geographies – Canada, UK, and India. Second, he has brought individual networks and made them into institutional ones.

ALSO READ: Multiple Gender Identity Debate: Canada Passes Bill C-16

“Rana has maintained an abiding interest in the ideas and innovation space and therefore will be adept at positioning the Canadian advantage in a critically important global city of San Francisco.”

Gary Comerford, who till recently was President of C-IBC, says in an interview that Sarkar “will be a very strong addition to the Canadian-US trade team. His knowledge and considerable expertise in the areas of international trade will be invaluable as the NAFTA agreement is modernized.”

Sarkar was also a Liberal Party candidate for the federal riding of Don Valley North (in Toronto) in 2014 but was not successful and he later became a member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s team of advisers.

Sarkar was earlier visiting lecturer at the London School of Economics and Political Science and more recently Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.

Appointment of Sarkar in this high profile position is amongst a series of appointments of Indo-Canadians made by the Justin Trudeau government. They include four Indo-Canadian federal ministers: Amarjeet Sohi (Minister for Infrastructure and Communities); Bardish Chagger (Minister for Small Business and Tourism and House Leader); Harjit Singh Sajjan (Minister for National Defense); and Navdeep Bains (Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development).

More recently Trudeau named Anil Arora as Canada’s Chief Statistician. Two other high profile appointments include Sabi Marwah and Ratna Omidvar as Senators. There are 19 Indo-Canadian Members of the House of Commons, 18 of whom are Liberals. (IANS)

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MP Manoj Tiwari misbehaves with School Teacher but kneels before Bollywood Actress

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BJP
Manoj Tiwari. Wikimedia
  • Manoj Tiwari is the BJP MP who came in media highlights for his verbal assault on a teacher
  • The MP who was invited to a cultural event in UP celebrating the birth anniversary of Munshi Premchand
  • However, he did take out time to meet some of his friends from Bollywood

August 2, 2017: “You do not have manners to speak to an MP?” (Translated) were BJP MP Manoj Tiwari’s words to a primary school teacher, enraged at her for requesting him to sing at a school function in the presence of CCTV cameras. Continuing his rant, he had asked the teacher to get off the stage and probed all present officers to take an action against her. Tiwari later received a lot of flak for the video, which had surfaced in May this year.

However, when Bollywood actors Shahrukh Khan and Anushka Sharma reached Varaṇasi on July 31 to promote their upcoming movie ‘Harry Met Sejal’, the BJP MP was the first in line to join them for the promotions.

Also Read: Ram Temple at Ayodhya is a part of the BJP Agenda, says Amit Shah

Tiwari was not only gracious enough to host the event for the actors but also very willingly knelt on his knees throughout the event to perform songs for Anushka. The highlight of the event was when he sang a Bhojpuri song while the crowd rejoiced during the promotional event held at a private institute.

Need we remind you, this is the same BJP MP who had misbehaved with a female teacher over her request to sing at a school function.

If this wasn’t news enough, the MP who recognizes himself as his ‘people’s person’ got so involved with the stars that he failed to interact with locals on his visit to the PM’s Parliamentary constituency. Tiwari chose to be associated with such an event while the people of Varanasi were expecting a discussion for the development of the constituency from him, given his contacts and his high-profile image.

However, what further hurt the sentiments of the people of UP was not the enthusiasm the MP showed for the promotion of a film he is not associated with whatsoever, but his willingness to forego a cultural event scheduled at village Lamhi.

The President of the Delhi unit of BJP failed to fulfill a political commitment of attending a cultural event scheduled at village Lamhi to celebrate the birth anniversary of Munshi Premchand.

So much for being an artist, we’d say!

While these developments may not gather national attention, the people of Varanasi are sure to hold Tiwari accountable for his involvement in such foolish and murky dealings.

– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter: @SohaKala

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Indian-origin MPs all set to gear up for tough UK Poll fight

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Westminster, Source: Wikimedia

London, May 17, 2017: Britain’s June 8 polls are approaching and the major political parties have finalised their list of prospective candidates. Also, the ten Indian-origin MPs who went through the House of Commons in the last UK general elections are all set for a robust competition.

Over a period of time, many of those elected in May 2015 are defending comfortable margins, the changed Brexit reality since the last election means a heightened sense of ambiguity.

In keeping with opinion polls, the ruling Conservative party is considerably anticipated to have a majority under the leadership of UK Prime Minister Theresa May and make an incursion into the Opposition Labour.

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The Liberal Democrats, who faced a heavy loss back in 2015 are hoping to restore their stand by focusing only on a confined number of anti-Brexit constituencies.

Among the MPs possibly to hail the Brexit surge will be Priti Patel, UK secretary of state for international development – the senior-most Indian-origin member of the UK Cabinet.

The Tory MP for Witham is defending a large majority of 19,554 (41.5 percent) in a Conservative party haven. She was also amongst the MPs who campaigned vigorous in support of Brexit and had accentuated it was ideal for Britain.

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She has a strong backing within the Indian diaspora. She has also served as the Indian Diaspora Champion under the David Cameron-led government previously.

“The Indian diaspora in the UK are fantastic at keeping this relationship strong and work hard every day to support the UK and India reach our potential,” Patel said.

Her Conservative party colleague, India-born Alok Sharma, the minister in charge of India in the UK Foreign Office, faces a relatively tighter elective havoc as he defends a majority of 6,650 (14 percent) in his Reading West constituency.

“The UK-India ties are the ‘living bridge’ between our people, supported by 1.5 million British Indians who make up our successful and vibrant diaspora community. I have the honour to represent the government on UK-India affairs and am proud to see our partnership go from strength to strength,” he said.Shailesh

Shailesh Vara, another senior Indian-origin Tory who served as justice minister in the David Cameron-led government and is currently the co-chair of the Conservative Friends of India (CFI), defends a large majority of 19,795 (32.4 percent) in North West Cambridgeshire.

Among the Tory party newcomers in the last Parliament, Rishi Sunak – the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayan Murthy – is in a Tory safe seat of Richmond.

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London-born and Goan-origin Suella Fernandes are also supporting a comfortable majority of 22,262 (40.7 per cent) in Fareham. The Hampshire-born, former Goldman Sachs analyst won the Richmond, Yorks, seat in 2015 by 19,550 (36.2 per cent).

The Opposition Labour party MPs comprise two of the longest-serving Indian-origin parliamentarians – Keith Vaz and Virendra Sharma.

While Vaz had a tumultuous year in 2016 with revelations around an alleged relationship with male prostitutes, his reputation in Leicester East seems to be competent with a previous lead of 18,352 (38.2 per cent). He has embraced the chance to go back to voters in the snap poll next month.

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“Theresa May was right to call a General Election. It is important any Prime Minister has a mandate from the British people before they begin the Brexit negotiations with the EU,” he said. “But this is not just about Brexit, it is about the vision of what kind of country we want to live in. This is an opportunity for the political parties to set out clearly how Britain will change for the better. I believe the Labour Party has the answer,” he told PTI.

His sister Valerie Vaz has an intricate fight at hand in her Walsall South constituency in the West Midlands where she won the last time with a margin of just 6,007 (14.4 per cent).

Fellow Labour MP Sharma, who is defending a majority of 18,670 (43.3 per cent) in Ealing Southall, west London, also welcomed the elections.

“It will give the country a chance to have their say on the divisive policies and hard Brexit that Theresa May is pursuing. The Prime Minister has called this election because she is scared of the Opposition that the Labour Party is mounting in Parliament,” he said.

“In Ealing, Southall we will speak to thousands of people, we will speak to the people that are being hurt by Tory policies and we will see that there is no support for a hard Brexit that punishes working people,” he added.

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The other Indian-origin Labour MPs Lisa Nandy and Seema Malhotra are supporting 14,236 (31.4 per cent) in Wigan and 11,463 (23.2 percent) in Feltham & Heston respectively.

The conservatives have covered another first-time Indian-origin candidate Resham Kotecha in Coventry North East but have come under some flak for not having adequate ethnic minority candidates on the list this time.

“The Conservative Party has a proud record of ensuring candidates from all walks of life stand for Parliament,” a party spokesperson said.

The Labour Party has over a dozen Indian-origin candidates on its list of proposed candidates concluded this week.

– prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter: @Nainamishr94