VANCOUVER: Three Indo-Canadians were elected to the British Columbia assembly in the provincial elections held Tuesday.There were as many as 32 Indo-Canadian candidates from various parties in the fray.
In what can be described as shocking results, the ruling Liberal Party, which was forecast to lose, bettered its tally the British Columbia assembly. While the Liberal Party won 50 seats, the Opposition New Democratic party (NDP), which was expected to win the elections, got only 33 seats.
However, for the NDP, Raj Chouhan and Harry Bains retained their seats, even as its two other incumbent Indo-Canadian MLAs – Jagrup Brar and Harry Lali – lost.
For the ruling party Liberal Party, Amrik Virk, an RCMP inspector, won from Surrey-Tynehead.
While Raj Chouhan (NDP) retained Burnaby-Edmonds by polling 7,897 votes, his fellow partyman Harry Lali lost in Fraser-Nicola of Jackie Tegart of the ruling Liberal Party. Lali got 4,785 votes as against 5,539 polled by Tegart.
Harry Bains of the NDP polled 8,951 votes in Surrey-Newton, to beat Sukhminder Virk (6,053 votes) of the Liberal Party. Satinder Singh of the Conservative Party got just 625 votes and Alan Saldanha of Helping Hand Party 262 votes.
Amrik Virk secured 8,425 votes for the Liberal party in Surrey-Tinehead, to beat Avtar Bains (6,925 votes) of the NDP. Sukhi Gill of the BC Vision got 264 votes.
In Surrey-Fleetwood, the incumbent Jagrup Brar (7,936 votes) of the NDP lost to Peter Fassbender (8,201) of the Liberal Party. There were two other Indo-Canadians – Murli Krishnan (748 votes) of the Conservative Party and Arvin Kumar (48 votes) of the BC Vision.
In Surrey-Green Timbers, Amrik Tung (5,035 votes) of the Liberal Party lost to Sue Hammel (8,449 votes) of the NDP. Lisa Maharaj (391 votes) of the Conservative Party and Harjit Singh Heir (86 votes) of the BC Vision were two other Indo-Canadian candidates in the fray in the riding.
In Surrey-Panorama which was taken by Mavin Hunt (12,874 votes) of the Liberal Party, Amrik Mail of the NDP got 8,515 votes, Kevin Rakhra of the Conservative Party 947 votes and Sara Sharma of the Green Party 1,317 votes.
In Surrey-Whalley, Kuljeet Kaur (4559 votes) of the Liberal Party lost to Bruce Ralston (9226 votes) of the NDP. Sunny Chohan (1010 votes) of the Conservative party and Jag Bhandari (368 votes) of the BC Vision were two other Indo-Canadian candidates in the fray in the riding.
In Delta North, Tinku Parmar of the Conservative Party got just 902 votes
In Vancouver ridings, barring one all Indo-Canadian candidates fared badly.
In Vancouver-Kingsway, Gurjit Dhillon (6,090 votes) of the Liberal Party was beaten by NDP leader Adrian Dix (9,376 votes).
In Vancouver-Kensington, Raj Gupta of the Conservative Party polled a mere 519 votes.
In Vancouver-Langara, Gurjidner Bains of the same party bagged just 607 votes.
Barinder Hans of the Green Party came third in Vancouver-Point Grey by getting 2,180 votes.
Gian Sahota (5,542 votes) of the NDP lost to the Liberal Party’s Linda Ried (10,725 votes) in Richmond East.
In the Abbotsford-Mission region where Indo-Canadians make up about one-fifth of the population, no candidate from the community could win.
In Abbotsford-Mission, Preet Rai (4,939 votes) of the NDP was trounced by Simon Gibson (9,565 votes) of the Liberal Party.
In Abbotsford South, Lakhvinder Jhaj (3,745 votes) of the NDP lost to Darryl Plecas (8,811 votes) of the Liberal Party.
In Abbotsford West, Sukhi Dhami (4,978 votes) of the NDP was defeated by Michael de Jong (8,645) of the Liberal Party. Another Indo-Canadian Moe Gill, who contested as an independent, polled 973 votes.
In Saanich South, Rishi Sharma (8,473 votes) of the Liberal Party lost to Lana Popham (10,824 votes ) of the NDP.