Bajwa to throw his hat in the ring in Surrey-Panorama after Dhaliwal bows out

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Indian Overseas Congress president and former Surrey mayoral candidate Vikram Bajwa plans to submit his name for Surrey-Panorama riding. Les Bazso/PNG

Within hours of Sukh Dhaliwal withdrawing his candidacy from the Surrey-Panorama riding, former Surrey mayoral candidate, Vikram Bajwa, announced he plans to throw his name in the running.

“I’m offering myself as a candidate to the Liberal party to run for Surrey-Panorama,” Bajwa, the president of the Indian Overseas Congress, told Vancouver Desi late Friday afternoon. “We had initially discussed this about four months back — after the Premier went to India, but at that point (Dhaliwal) had a meeting and he said he wants to do it and as a good friend, I bowed out.”

But Friday afternoon, Dhaliwal announced his departure from the Liberal’s Surrey team — hours after Premier Christy Clark ordered a review of his candidacy over tax evasion charges he is facing. Dhaliwal faces six counts of tax evasion for allegedly failing to file returns for a company he runs with his wife.

Bajwa was encouraged by friends and supporters to put his name forward and has since drafted a letter for Clark and Mike McDonald asking to consider his candidacy.

“We have to start right now because time is too short for this,” Bajwa said of his speedy call to action.

While Bajwa wouldn’t comment on Dhaliwal’s legal matters, he believes his colleague made the best decision.

“Until it’s resolved he can’t be in the public eye and I respect that,” said Bajwa. “He’s taken a good, wise decision to save the Liberal party and save himself from embarrassment and until it is resolved he can’t take any move forward for political office.”

Bajwa said he’s “confident” in his candidacy and hopes to submit his papers to the B.C. Liberals by Wednesday.

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