Bharat Agnihotri

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Bharat Agnihotri
MLA for Edmonton-Ellerslie
In office
November 22, 2004 – March 3, 2008
Preceded byDebby Carlson
Succeeded byNaresh Bhardwaj
Personal details
Born (1953-04-09) April 9, 1953 (age 66)
Political partyLiberal
ResidenceEdmonton, Alberta
Alma materGuru Nanak Dev University

Bharat Agnihotri (born April 9, 1953) is a Canadian politician and a former member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. He represented the constituency of Edmonton-Ellerslie, sitting as a Liberal. He was elected in the 2004 election, but was defeated in the 2008 election.

Early life[edit]

Agnihotri was born in India, and graduated from Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science.[1] In 1976 he immigrated to England, where he lived until 1990, when he came to Edmonton.[1] He began work as a realtor in 1997.[1]


Electoral record[edit]

Agnihotri first sought election in the 2001 provincial election, when he ran as a Liberal in Edmonton Mill Creek against incumbent Gene Zwozdesky.[2] Zwozdesky had been elected as a Liberal the previous election, and Agnihotri had volunteered for his campaign.[3] However, Zwozdesky had left the Liberal caucus in July 1998, and joined the Progressive Conservatives a month later, and it was under their banner that he was seeking re-election. Agnihotri finished second, with 29% of the vote, nearly four thousand votes behind Zwozdesky.[2]

The next election, Agnihotri ran in Edmonton Ellerslie, which had been vacated by Liberal Debby Carlson, who had resigned to run in the 2004 federal election. Agnihotri won a narrow victory, finishing 199 votes ahead of Progressive Conservative Gurnam Dodd.[4] He sought re-election in the 2008 election, but was defeated by the Progressive Conservative candidate.[5]

Legislative initiatives[edit]

In 2007, Agnihotri sponsored the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (Repeal of Ministerial Briefing Exemption) Amendment Act, would have eliminated ministerial briefings from the list of documents exempt from public disclosure under the province's access to information provisions.[6] It never reached second reading.[7]

Community Initiatives Program incident[edit]

On April 3, 2007, Agnihotri became the first MLA to be named - that is, asked by the Speaker to leave the assembly - in Ken Kowalski's nine years as speaker.[8] This occurred as result of questions he asked Minister of Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture Hector Goudreau about the Community Initiatives Program, which dispenses grants to community groups.[8] Agnihotri began by noting that, despite a rule that unmatched grants could not exceed ten thousand dollars, forty-three groups had received unmatched grants exceeding that amount.[8] He then asked if these groups included any who had made donations to the leadership campaigns of Ed Stelmach, Dave Hancock, Lyle Oberg, or Ted Morton - all of whom were cabinet ministers and all of whom had refused to disclose full lists of donors from their leadership campaigns:[8] "Can this minister assure this house that groups receiving this special treatment are not secret friends of top Tories?"[9] Hancock rose on a point of order, and Kowalski ruled that Agnihotri's question impugned the integrity of the ministers, and that the question was a party matter that had no place in the legislature.[8] He asked Agnihotri three times to apologize and, after Agnihotri refused, he named him.[9] Agnihotri was not to be allowed back into the Legislature until he apologized and all members of the assembly agreed to re-admit him.[10] He apologized the next day, saying that his constituents wanted him to and that "if you stay outside, you're not going to help Albertans, so better you go inside and fight for it."[10]

Post-political career[edit]

After his defeat in 2008, Agnihotri announced plans to return to work as a realtor.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Agnihotri is married to Rita and has two children.[1] He enjoys cricket and table tennis.[1]

Election results[edit]

2001 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Mill Creek
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Gene Zwozdesky 8,085 55.66% 27.39%
Liberal Bharat Agnihotri 4,229 29.12% −22.79%
New Democratic Edwin Villania 1,893 13.03% −0.83%
Alberta First Kyle Harvey 220 1.51%
Green Harlan Light 97 0.68%
Total 14,524
Rejected, spoiled and declined 53
Eligible electors / Turnout 26,307 55.41%
Progressive Conservative hold Swing 25.09%
Source: "Grande Prairie-Wapiti Official Results 2001 Alberta general election" (PDF). Elections Alberta. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
2004 Alberta general election results (Edmonton Ellerslie) Turnout 43.4%
Affiliation Candidate Votes %
Liberal Bharat Agnihotri 3,444 33.8%
     Progressive Conservative Gurnam Dodd 3,245 31.9%
     NDP Marilyn Assheton-Smith 2,257 22.2%
Alberta Alliance Eleanor Maroes 1,005 9.9%
     Social Credit Amelia Maciejewski 238 2.3%
2008 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Ellerslie
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Naresh Bhardwaj 4,581 41.90% 10.07%
Liberal Bharat Agnihotri 3,592 32.86% −0.94%
New Democratic Marilyn Assheton-Smith 1,891 17.30% −4.85%
Wildrose Alliance Krista Leddy 471 4.31% −5.59%
Green Paul Boos 335 3.06%
Social Credit Cheryl Ullah 62 0.57% −1.75%
Total 10,932
Rejected, spoiled and declined 81
Eligible electors / Turnout 31,317 35.17%
Progressive Conservative gain from Liberal Swing 5.51%
Source: The Report on the March 3, 2008 Provincial General Election of the Twenty-seventh Legislative Assembly. Elections Alberta. July 28, 2008. pp. 290–293.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Agnihotri's Legislative Assembly of Alberta biography". Archived from the original on 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2006-10-05.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ a b "Alberta's past election results". Retrieved 2008-03-06.
  3. ^ Rogers, David (2006-05-18). "Rally to the cause". Real Estate Weekly. Archived from the original on 2007-06-10. Retrieved 2008-03-12.
  4. ^ "2004 election results, Edmonton Ellerslie" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-03-12.[dead link]
  5. ^ "2008 election results, Edmonton Ellerslie". Archived from the original on October 2, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-12.
  6. ^ "Introduction of Bills – Bill 218: Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (Repeal of Ministerial Briefing Exemption) Amendment Act, 2007" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Legislative Assembly of Alberta. November 8, 2007. p. 1888.
  7. ^ "Legislative Assembly of Alberta Bill Status Report for the 26th Legislature - 3rd Session (2007)". Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2008-03-12.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Oral Question Period – Point of Order: Reflections on Members" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Legislative Assembly of Alberta. April 3, 2007. p. 371.
  9. ^ a b "Alberta Liberal MLA tossed from legislature". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2015-09-06.
  10. ^ a b "MLA apologizes, allowed back into legislature". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2015-09-06.
  11. ^ Audette, Trish (2008-03-04). "Tories triumphant for first time since '72". Edmonton Journal. Archived from the original on 2012-11-04. Retrieved 2008-03-12.