Canadian MP Grewal quits to fight gambling addiction in Chandigarh

Published on Nov 25, 2018 01:49 PM IST
A statement released by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office also clarified that Grewal was resigning to seek treatment for the problem of gambling which had “led him to incur significant personal debts”.
Liberal MP Raj Grewal, 33, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during their visit to the Golden Temple in February(HT File Photo)
Liberal MP Raj Grewal, 33, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during their visit to the Golden Temple in February(HT File Photo)
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By

Rajvinder Grewal has quit as Liberal MP from Brampton East as he is struggling with a personal gambling addiction.

In a Facebook post addressed to his constituency on Saturday, the 33-year-old Ludhiana-origin leader, better known as Raj Grewal, said: “As many Canadians that suffer from addiction issues, I recognise that I have a problem. My focus is now entirely on my mental health and spending time with my family as I recover.”

“To my family, friends, and supporters, I am sorry to have disappointed you. You have all poured so much time, energy and love into me. To my constituents and colleagues, you put your faith in me to serve. I enjoy my job, every minute of it. But recently, I knew I could no longer serve my constituents to the best of my ability due to my personal problem. It is for that reason, I decided to take some time to look after my health,” he wrote, requesting privacy.

A statement released by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office also clarified that Grewal was resigning to seek treatment for the problem of gambling which had “led him to incur significant personal debts”.

Trudeau backed Grewal’s decision and tweeted, “Yesterday (on Thursday), I learned that Raj Grewal is facing serious personal challenges, and today he announced he is stepping down as Member of Parliament for Brampton East. While it may have been a difficult decision, it was the right one. I hope he receives the support he needs.”

SETBACK FOR LIBERALS

The move comes as a setback for the Punjabi diaspora in Canada’s Ontario province and for Trudeau’s team since Grewal, who hails from Sarabha village in Ludhiana, had already been re-nominated by the Liberal Party as its candidate for the 2019 federal elections. Trudeau will now need to call for a bypoll before that due to the timing of the resignation.

Grewal, who had assumed office in the House of Commons in Canada on October 19, 2015, made his first announcement via a Facebook post on Thursday evening, citing “personal and medical” reasons. At the same time, he said he was hopeful of being able to again represent his constituency.

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