Will the new NSW Parliament have more Indian-origin faces?

NSW goes to polls today. Elections for all 93 seats in the Legislative Assembly and 21 seats for the Legislative Council will take place.

NSW goes to polls today (25th March 2023). The Liberal-National Coalition has been in power in the state for the past 12 years. If Labor wins this election, Australia will have a Labor government in every state and territory except Tasmania.

If the Coalition wins again beating incumbency it will be a significant win given that they have had a string of losses most recently in the Federal as well as Victoria elections. Premier Dominic Perrottet is heading the Coalition while Chris Minns is heading Labor into this election battle.

The Parliament of NSW has 93 seats in the Legislative Assembly and 42 in the Legislative Council. Elections are being held today to elect the 58th Parliament of NSW. This will include elections for all the 93 seats in the Legislative Assembly and half the seats for the Legislative Council.

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In the last elections Coalition won 48 seats while Labor won 36 seats in the Legislative Assembly. Three went to the Greens. The current strength of the Coalition however is 45.

Two members (John Sidoti and Gareth Ward) resigned and moved to the crossbench in 2021 after being subjects of inquiry by ICAC and the NSW Police respectively. Coalition’s number dipped to 45 after losing the Bega by-election.

The member for Bega, Andrew Constance, had resigned to contest the Federal seat of Gilmore which he lost. The Coalition has been in minority since 2021 but Opposition Labor decided not to bring a no-confidence motion and the government served its full term.

Indian-origin candidates in the fray

Prue Car, Deputy Leader of the Labor Party has part Indian ancestry. She will be contesting from Londonderry a seat that she currently holds.

Labor is also fielding Charishma Kaliyanda from Liverpool, Sameer Pandey from Winston Hills and Alan Mascarenhas from Epping. They also have Nathan Hagarty from Leppington who was born in India.

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Liberals are fielding Mohit Kumar from Riverstone, Aayren Pillai from Fairfield and Samantha Talakola from Londonderry while The Nationals have Gurmesh Singh from Coffs Harbour who currently holds the seat.

In the current Parliament besides Pru Car and Gurmesh Singh, there is only one other member of Indian-origin, Shadow Treasurer Daniel Mookhey. He is a member of the Legislative Council and was the first politician in Australia’s history, who while swearing in, took his oath on the Hindu Holy book Bhagavad Gita. His seat in the Legislative Council is not up for elections.

Liverpool, Fairfield and Londonderry (Deputy Labor leader Pru Car’s seat) are currently held by Labor while Epping (Premier Dominic Perrottet’s seat) Winston Hills and Riverstone are currently held by Liberals. Coffs Harbour is currently held by Nationals.

For the Legislative Council elections, there are no Indian-origin candidates in the top eight from either party. Jag Dhaliwal has been given 9th spot on the Upper House ticket by the Liberals while Pamela Ward is at the 16th spot on the Labor ticket.