The highs and lows of rebel MP Dr Gaurav Sharma

Independent MP Dr Gaurav Sharma (RNZ Photo by Phil Smith)

Praneeta Mahajan Kochhar
Hamilton, Auckland 31, 2022

The charge that rebel MP Dr Gaurav Sharma rarely responded to the email messages from Indian Newslink corroborates with similar opinions expressed by his Hamilton West constituents that he is picky. 

There are interpersonal relationships in all fields of one’s professional workspace. Some pan out better than one can imagine while some just fizzle out into a polite acquaintance. And yet, there are some which explode into a gigantic spectacle which intrigues everyone.

It seems it is the last instance that has been the talk of the country for a few weeks now involving the Labour Party and now an independent MP Dr Gaurav Sharma.

Focus shifted to Hamilton West

But away from all the allegations and accusations, everyone is curious to know the facts.

With the Labour caucus remaining quiet and Dr Sharma being proactive in his engagement with the media, the average New Zealander is left searching for answers.

We decided to move away from the discussion about workplace interactions for a while and focus on the people of Hamilton West who are now coming to the limelight. We sought the opinion of people of varied cultural and social backdrops of the work done in their constituency since the general elections held on October 17, 2020.

Dr Sharma was rated well as a member of the District Health Board and a General Practitioner. Some people who have worked with him in various capacities support him wholeheartedly.

Praneeta Kochhar Mahajan

Unanimous and unsolicited

They believe that Dr Sharma has been supportive of new ideas, willing to help and confident that changes can be brought to the community. The teams working with him were positive. They were happy with the exchange of ideas and the roadmap for implementing them.

Some volunteers pointed out that while many ideas were discussed extensively, the bureaucratic processes made the implementation of those ideas a challenge.

They told Indian Newslink that the allegations against him and the eventual turn of events came as a shock as Dr Sharma did not act unprofessionally or came across as someone who would abuse his powers.

Apathetic MP

However, many others said that for all the talk and boasting that went on, Dr Sharma was not good at responding to their messages and emails. A lot of the people could not recall his presence at many community events and were not sure of any achievements of Dr Sharma as a Member of Parliament. And even fewer said that they will support him in the future.

While many credited his electoral win to the Labour Party’s popularity in the 2020 elections, the mood is changing, and this may reflect in the General Election 2023.

An interesting debate would be on the merit that Dr Sharma has earned on his own to secure a place in the 54th Parliament.

While many may support Dr Sharma’s right to a fair inquiry and express grievances, they are not convinced if he has done enough as a Member of the Parliament to earn the trust of his voters and New Zealanders in general.

Praneeta Mahajan Kochhar is a writer and thinker. She lives in Hamilton and writes regularly for Indian Newslink. The above is a curtain-raiser. Our reporters will continue to meet people and carry their views on the highs and lows of the rebel MP.

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