Enemies Of Sukh Dhaliwal Gang Up On Former MP As Mother Of All Nomination Battles Set For Next Saturday In Surrey-Newton
Federal Liberals Laughing All The Way To The Bank With Estimated $230,000 In Membership Fees Collected From Dhaliwal-Sarai Fight!
Forces from near and far have teamed up against former MP Sukh Dhaliwal, including from India and those from his opponents across the political spectrum locally, to make sure that he doesn’t win the nomination for the riding which Dhaliwal has held previously for the federal Liberals and one which he is hoping to capture again. While his opponent Randeep Sarai claims to have signed up 11,000 members, the wily Dhaliwal has reportedly signed up over 13,000 members of his own. Dhaliwal has been a king-maker in Surrey and he has fought in a number of nomination Battle Royals, winning each one. And if history is any indication, Dhaliwal is expected to win the nomination again next Saturday but it should be hard fought and close.
By R. Paul Dhillon
SURREY – Enemies of former MP Sukh Dhaliwal have ganged up against him as he seeks to return as the federal Liberal party candidate in the riding of Surrey-Newton, which is currently held by NDP’s Jinny Sims.
Forces from near and far have teamed up against Dhaliwal, including from India and those from his opponents across the political spectrum locally, to make sure that he doesn’t win the nomination for the riding which Dhaliwal is hoping to capture again for the Liberals in the next election.
The nomination meeting for all the marbles will be held next Saturday, Dec. 13 (unlucky 13 for someone) at the Tamwanis Secondary school with voting taking place from 9 am to 8 pm with the results announced by 10 pm.
Dhaliwal is taking on lawyer Randeep Singh Sarai, who announced his candidacy recently at a press gathering. Sarai took to his facebook page last Saturday to announce that he had signed up 11,000 members (which means his campaign shelled out or got members to shell out $110,000 – nearly three quarters annual salary of an average Canadian MP). But some reports put his membership between 9000 and 10,000, still a hefty amount.
Not to be outdone, the wily Dhaliwal, who suffered some controversy stemming from tax filing in a company he had with a careless partner, has reportedly signed up over 13,000 members of his own (again shelling out or getting members to shell out over $130,000 to party coffers), which means that whoever can get the most members out next Saturday will have the nomination crown.
But where is the money coming from and how are the memberships being purchased given the party’s strict rules regarding members paying for the membership?
Well places sources within both camps say the inner circle power players (the backers) of the contestants are using prepaid $20 visa cards purchased in bulk to pay for the memberships even though the money may be coming from one, two, 10 or 20 big donours.
In politics everything is dirty but as long as you play by the rules while at the same time circumventing those rules is absolutely fine.
It looks like the political elite in the Indo-Canadian are also watching Netflix’s House of Cards and learning a thing or two from the absolutely cut-throat political mastery of the diabolical fictional US Vice President Frank Underwood (played with great power and Machivilian chivalry by the great Kevin Spacy).
This fight is truly between two powerful armies, which includes some shadowy and unsavory characters on both sides.
Reports say that while Sarai has the backing of some of the same people who supported the victorious Surrey First in the just completed civic elections, Dhaliwal’s friends in high places (hint: the Premier’s office) have allegedly told the BC Liberal Pitbulls in Surrey to back off from supporting Sarai and not oppose Dhaliwal, who’s playing his cards just right.
While Dhaliwal is a millionaire and has backing from other millionaires, where is Sarai getting his funding and backing?
There is also talk that Dhaliwal’s enemies are using Sarai to fight their battles by providing him support. Sarai’s potential win also bodes well for NDP’s Sims (Jogindro Kaur) as he is seen as a lightweight candidate who will most likely be easier for her to defeat than Dhaliwal.
Sarai is the nephew of NDP MLA Harry Bains, who has close association with his federal NDP counterpart Sims.
And we could still see former Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal also return to the riding he has held after he was unceremoniously dumped by the party insiders from seeking the nomination in Surrey-Cloverdale along with businessman Paul Brar.
Grewal has said on record that if the party wants him to run in Surrey-Newton, he is game as he is a loyal Conservative party man.
The riding is shaping up to be one of the most interesting election battles next year when the election will be called, especially if Grewal is thrown into the mix.
The riding is unique in that it has been in the past won by the NDP (current), Liberals and Conservatives.
Both Sarai and Dhaliwal got the go ahead recently from the party to make members and they have not disappointed, with over 20,000 members in a single riding.
Dhaliwal has been a king-maker in Surrey in the Doug McCallum days and he has fought in a number of nomination Battle Royals, winning each one.
And if history is any indication, Dhaliwal is expected to win the nomination again next Saturday but it should be hard fought and close.