19 Aug 2009

Come off it Key - suspend your errant MP until he is proven innocent!

The Double Standard rides again. If Key was as principled as he portrays himself Bakshi should be taking gardening leave until all allegations of wrong doing are cleared... after all isn't this what he insisted Clark should do with Peters?

What is sauce for the goose must also be for the gander?

National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi has assured Prime Minister John Key he has not done anything wrong and Mr Key wants him to be treated like everyone else during an inquiry into immigration allegations.

The inquiry, involving list MP Mr Bakshi, is back on after police were provided with fresh information.

Mr Bakshi has denied allegations he accepted money for false job offers to bolster Indian immigrant applications.

There have also been allegations about attempts to silence witnesses.

Mr Key, in Australia for meetings with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, said Mr Bakshi should be "treated like any other New Zealand citizen", Radio New Zealand reported.

"I've directly and personally asked him whether there's any truth to the allegations, he's given me a personal assurance there is not.

"If there is grounds for investigation then the authorities should conduct those investigations and they'll get full support from the Government if it's required,"

Mr Bakshi would be "called to account" if there was a case to answer, Mr Key said.

Acting Prime Minister Bill English said yesterday Mr Bakshi was "quite clear he hasn't done anything wrong". Immigration New Zealand started an inquiry last year but closed it in March because of a lack of evidence.

It has now provided police with further information on the allegations after interviewing a new informant.

The service also provided police with a sworn statement, obtained by Labour MP Pete Hodgson from another new informant, which said complainants were encouraged by people in India to drop the matter; "because he was going to be the first Sikh MP in New Zealand".

Police said they were looking at the role of former immigration consultant Darshan Singh Bains, who took job offers from Mr Bakshi and gave them to Indians to use as part of their applications to migrate to New Zealand.

Mr Bakshi said he knew nothing about the police investigation, and had not had any contact with Immigration since its file was closed.

Mr Bakshi has been away from work after a heart bypass operation but is expected back soon.

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