A large group of Sikhs in the Canadian province of British Columbia quit the Liberal Party of Canada to protest the nomination of a party candidate backed by the World Sikh Organisation (WSO).
"We think this Liberal Party's been hijacked by the WSO," said Rajinder Singh Bhela, a longtime Liberal and former general secretary of the Ross Street Temple, Vancouver's largest Sikh temple.
The development could be an embarrassing blow to Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in the general elections scheduled for 2015, CBC News reported Tuesday.
"The Liberal Party, especially Justin, is in bed with extremist and fundamental groups. That's why I decided to leave the Liberal Party," said Kashmir Dhaliwal, former president of the powerful Khalsa Diwan Society, founded by Sikh pioneers in 1902.
The walkout was triggered by the party's selection of a WSO-backed candidate, Harjit Singh Sajjan, over a prominent businessman, Barj Dhahan for Vancouver South. Dhahan is a moderate ally of Ujjal Dosanjh, the previous Liberal MP.