Sunday, June 05, 2005

Grewals earlier taping revisited

The Star has a story on the 1995 episode where Grewal taped a private meeting (see here here). Grewal wanted a Liberal nomination for a provincial riding, but had been turned down because of his poor qualifications. Money quote:
Baynham, who in 1995 was reviewing potential election candidates' backgrounds to ensure they would stand up to public scrutiny, was not impressed.
"He had no connection to the community and a very sketchy sort of background," Baynham says.
"So, I had him in ... and told him that, of all the people I'd seen, he was the least qualified person to stand for election, and. . . he was being rejected as a candidate for the B.C. Liberal party."
The incident became a hot local issue, with Indo-Canadians accusing the party of taking a racist stand against Grewal.
Soon afterwards, according to Baynham, Grewal went up the line of the Liberal party hierarchy, complaining about the decision of the vetting committee.
"Within a few days, I was advised he had tape-recorded (the interview)," Baynham recalls. "He (Grewal) had a body pack on to record it. People came back to me and told me there was this tape and it would be damaging because of what was contained on the tape."
But no one ever came forward with a copy of the tape or a transcript, he says.

In a comment to another thread, Ryan remembered another detail of that story
He also has suggested in the past that BC Premier Gordon Campbell forced him to step down, and that a photo of Grewal endorsing his replacement candidate was staged against his will. Everyone else at the meeting denies Grewal's version of events, but he claims he has secretly recorded tapes to back that up too.

Can't find a source on this, sadly, but I know it happened.
Here at Buckets of Grewal we aim at serving our readership, so for Ryan I point out the earlier story here, where a story in the Edmonton Journal is quoted:
Grewal's first brush with political notoriety came during an incident in B.C. during the mid-1990s that bears remarkable similarities to his current predicament.

In 1995, Grewal decided he wanted to run as a candidate for Gordon Campbell's B.C. Liberals, who it was widely assumed would defeat the New Democratic Party government.

Grewal, with the help of political organizer Prem Vinning, signed up so many members from the Indo-Canadian community he appeared sure to secure the nomination in a riding that Campbell and his top aides wanted for Reni Masi -- the party president at the time.

An apparent truce was reached when Campbell, Vinning, Grewal, and dozens of community leaders met in Vinning's house. Grewal was photographed raising the hand of the anointed candidate.

But Grewal said he was trapped, had no idea what the meeting was about, and didn't plan on stepping aside. He soon quit the Liberal party and later ran, and lost badly, as a candidate of the former B.C. Reform party.

"I never agreed, but they held my hand and raised it up," he recollected Thursday. "There were so many people, it would really look stupid in front of people if you say no, no, I'm not withdrawing. They are making me, forcing me. ... I thought the pressure is so much around here, so I held my hand and raised it."

Grewal then went to the media, claiming publicly Sandy Powar, the B.C. Liberal party secretary, tried prior to that meeting to bribe him by saying he could be named a deputy minister in a Campbell government if he stepped aside. Grewal said he believes he still might have a tape of that conversation.


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