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Indo-Canadian MP Darshan Kang denies allegations of sexual harassment

Darshan Kang, an Indo-Canadian MP from the ruling Liberal Party of Canada, has asserted he is innocent of the charges levelled against him of having sexually harassed a staffer.

world Updated: Sep 02, 2017 18:31 IST
Hindustan Times, Toronto
Darshan Kang,Canada,India
The 66-year-old MP was born in India and immigrated to Canada in 1970.(Twitter Photo)

Darshan Kang, an Indo-Canadian MP from the ruling Liberal Party of Canada, has asserted he is innocent of the charges levelled against him of having sexually harassed a staffer.

In a statement, Kang said: “While I cannot comment directly on an open, ongoing investigation, I continue to proclaim my innocence and will defend my reputation at all costs.”

He also said that since the allegations were originally made, he had been “under a tremendous amount of stress and subsequently, I was placed on medical leave.”

In the statement quoted by multiple Canadian outlets, Kang said, “”As a result of this leave, I have not participated in public events.”

The controversy over Kang and his place in the ruling caucus of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has led to questions as to why the MP representing Calgary Skyview has yet to be dismissed more than a fortnight since the allegations came to light.

Trudeau has been repeatedly grilled on this issue and he reiterated his position on Tuesday in Ottawa as the network Global News reported: “We are allowing that process to undergo in a responsible way. The whip’s office is very much engaged, as it must be in this process, and we are allowing this process to unfold as it should.”

Earlier this week, the daily Toronto Star reported that Kang had allegedly offered $ 100,000 to the young female staffer who levelled the allegations to stay “quiet”.

The 24-year-old had apparently worked for nearly four years in Kang’s office, including through his campaign to be elected to the House of Commons for the first time in October 2015.

Her father, who was not named by the newspaper, said that Kang was a “good friend” and demanded that he “publicly apologise” and resign from office.

This episode was originally reported by the Ottawa-based The Hill Tines earlier this month. It had quoted the Chief Government Whip’s Office as having confirmed that House chief human resources officer Pierre Parent was conducting an investigation into the incident.

It quoted Charles-Eric Lepine, chief of staff to Chief Government Whip Pablo Rodriguez, as saying, “We were made aware of the allegations and referred them, as per the House of Commons process, to the chief human resources officer.”

The 66-year-old MP was born in India and immigrated to Canada in 1970. He was twice elected to the provincial assembly before becoming the first Liberal Party candidate to be elected to the House of Commons from Calgary in nearly 50 years, when he defeated the sitting Conservative Party MP.

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 11:06 IST