May 12, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Toronto: Jagmeet Singh, one of the Sikh politician from Ontario province which is expected to announce his intent to run for the leadership of the New Democratic Party (NDP). NDP is one of Canada’s three major political parties.
Jagmeet Singh will make the “special announcement” in the Toronto suburb of Brampton on May 15.
Popular within the party and its supporters, Jagmeet Singh, who is a member of the provincial parliament in Ontario, will become among the favourites to replace outdoing NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, who was Leader of Opposition when Conservative Stephen Harper was prime minister, reads a quote in an English vernacular.
His announcement may further infuriate New Delhi which is already ”heartburned” over Canadian PM Justin Truedeau recent address to the Sikhs during ‘Khalsa Day’ Parade. Notably Jagmeet Singh was refused visitors visa by India in December 2013.
Furthermore, yet another reason the Indian state can’t stand a sight of Jagmeet Singh is that he had also moved a motion in the Ontario Assembly last year to get recognition for Sikh genocide 1984. While that motion was defeated, a similar one, moved by Liberal Party lawmaker Harinder Malhi, was carried this April and Jagmeet Singh had supported the motion.
In her speech introducing the motion, Malhi referred to and recognised Jagmeet Singh for the earlier motion. While speaking on the floor of the assembly during the debate on the motion, Singh had been critical of India and its Prime Minister the Narendra Modi’s government. He also raised the denial of visa to him, as he said, “This is a country that continues to use visa denial as a form of ‘silencing’ its critics”, notes Hindustan Times (HT).
He has been influential in the Greater Toronto Area and has increasingly been called on to campaign for NDP candidates in other provinces, as in the case of recent elections in British Columbia.
Media sources further reported that Thomas Mulcair resigned from the post of party leader after the NDP was reduced to third place in the Canadian federal elections in 2015.
After a series of leadership debates take place, the first round of voting in the leadership race will begin on September 18. Singh’s entry into the contest will make it one that India will watch apprehensively.