May 26 (Ottawa Sun): LIBERAL BROKER: GREWAL 'USED ME'
Copyright 2005 Sun Media Corporation
The Ottawa Sun
May 20, 2005 Friday
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 4
LENGTH: 312 words
HEADLINE: LIBERAL BROKER: GREWAL 'USED ME'
BYLINE: BY KATHLEEN HARRIS, PARLIAMENTARY BUREAU
The middleman who claims he was enlisted by Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal to facilitate his defection to the Liberals feels "used" by his friend.
Sudesh Kalia accused Grewal of making "false" statements about how senior Liberals courted him to cross the floor in exchange for plum cabinet and Senate positions for himself and his MP wife, Nina.
"He used me, and if he had planned that, he's not my friend then," Kalia, a B.C. businessman and longtime pal of Grewal, told the Sun.
According to Kalia, Grewal called him out of the blue Sunday. Grewal said rumours about him being offered a Senate seat were false, but later indicated he'd be interested in joining the Grits.
"He said 'I will consider it if they accept my demands,' " Kalia said. "He gave me demands."
Kalia, a provincial and federal Liberal who is also a personal friend of Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh, offered to arrange a meeting with the minister. Grewal accepted and they met Monday, but Dosanjh vehemently denied making any offers.
Late Wednesday, Grewal released an eight-minute excerpt of a taped conversation with Tim Murphy, the PM's chief of staff. While Murphy makes no offers or promises of favours in exchange for abstaining on the budget vote, he implies there could be future discussions about appointments.
"I think it's a bad idea, truthfully, to have any kind of commitment that involves an explicit trade," Murphy said on tape.
Yesterday, the Tories refused to immediately release the tapes in their entirety, including conversation in Punjabi between Grewal and Dosanjh.
Tory spokesman Geoff Norquay said some of the audiotape will take time to be translated, and that he felt it important to get the most "useful" part out immediately.
Norquay insisted Grewal was approached by the Grits, not the other way around. "He didn't initiate the process, period."