First Sikh leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) Jagmeet Singh has made public his intentions to be the Prime Minister of the country, reports The Tribune.
The NDP leader though faces a tough road in this regard. The first challenge is to win the Burnaby South federal seat in the British Columbia. Winning the February bypoll is a test for Singh as no major federal party leader has ever lost a bypoll since 1942. The voting is on 25 February, leaving him little time to prepare.
Canada’s ‘top Singh’, seen as a symbol of Punjabi pride in Canada, has a huge fan-following, particularly in the north and east coasts. He is the first Sikh in the country to head one of the three national political parties of Canada.
Jagmeet has risked his political career by going in for the bypoll. His party, the NDP, is placed third with less than half the support as compared to the two major political parties, the Liberals headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and the Progressive Conservative Party (PCC).
Jagmeet, during his campaigns, never forgets to point out that he is eyeing the top post of the country. “Yes, I want to be Prime Minister,” he tells voters, adding that he is nonchalant about his criticism.
Singh has been vocal in his criticism of Indian government over 1984 Sikh riots, describing the riots as an “attempt to extinguish the Sikh community.” He stated that the Indian military "killed thousands of innocent people in just one day.
This genocide continued for the next twenty years. Across Punjab, Sikh youth disappeared, torture was rampant, and Sikhs endured relentless state-sanctioned terrorism.”
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