Indians lose in New Zealand local body election

Daljit Singh, who was arrested last week and charged with forging voting documents along with another person, has failed to win a place in the Papatoetoe subdivision of the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board. None of the four Indian-origin candidates won a seat, The New Zealand Herald reported.Singh, a Labour Party candidate, came seventh in the election but said he was happy with the outcome.

Out of the nine candidates in the Otara-Papatoetoe board, four were Indians. Besides Daljit Singh, Sukhdev Singh Hundal was also from the Labour Party, while Avtar Hans and Narinder Kumar Singla were representing the Citizens and Ratepayers group.

Asked if he thought the alleged voting scam contributed to the dismal results for Indian candidates, Daljit Singh said: "I don't think so."

However, Citizens and Ratepayers' candidate Narinder Singla said the alleged scam tarnished the image of the Indian candidates."The people did not know who was behind this scam... we have lost a lot of votes," he was quoted as saying.

Another C&R candidate Ray Strong, also unsuccessful in his bid, said Saturday that he intended to contest the result and seek a judicial inquiry.

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