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Jagmeet Singh Victory Is Historic.
Jagmeet Singh, a 38-year-old lawyer also practicing Sikh, was elected on Sunday to lead Canada’s left-leaning New Democrats, becoming the first non-white politician to start a major political party there.
His profile was boosted early last month after a video went viral showing him calmly responding with words of love to a heckler who interrupted a campaign event to accuse him of wanting to impose Shariah law in Canada.
In a landslide victory, also Jagmeet Singh has become the new leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party(NDP).
The NDP is the third largest party in the federal parliament, with 44 of 338 seats. The party lags well behind the centrist Liberals and right-leaning Conservatives in political fundraising this year, according to Elections Canada data.
Singh’s victory is historic.
The Ontario provincial lawmaker, whose penchant for colorful turbans and tailor-made three-piece suits made him a social media star, was elected on the first ballot to lead the New Democratic party (NDP) into the 2019 federal election against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) October 1, 2017
Trudeau congratulated his new political rival on Twitter on Sunday, saying: “I look forward to speaking soon and working together for Canadians.”
Congratulations @theJagmeetSingh – I look forward to speaking soon and working together for Canadians.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 1, 2017
In spite of predictions that voting could go into multiple rounds and ostensibly drag on until mid-October, Singh won 53.6 per cent of the first-ballot votes on Sunday. He easily beat out his closest rival, Charlie Angus, who garnered only 19.3 per cent.
Jagmeet singh is the first person of color who is leader of a major Canadian political party. Also he is a proud Sikh; he wears a turban, also carries a kirpan (a ceremonial knife). Jagmeet Singh openly talks about his experiences with racism, and has brawl for policies that would combat racism.
As a member of regional parliament in Ontario, he worked to pass legislation that barred so called carding a perform whereby police officers stop individuals “randomly” and ask for their identification and used to excessively target people of color.
In 2016, Jagmeet singh moved a movement in the Ontario assembly seeking to describe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in India as “genocide”. A similar motion, brought by a Liberal Party MPP, succeeded this summer and Singh was among those who spoke during the debate, severely criticising the Indian government.
One of the best known moments of Singh’s campaign was when a heckler accused him of being “in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood”. He reacted to her by leading the audience in a chant of “love and courage.”
The Toronto-area politician, who has led in fundraising since joining the race in May, had been touted by supporters as someone who could bring new life to the party, which has fought back since the death of charismatic former leader Jack Layton in 2011.
Christopher Cochrane, said: “His skill; of being able to defuse the situation, it understandably appealed to a lot of people who ended up supporting him.”
He also added that Singh’s ability to connect both with young people and those in ethnic minorities; would make him a force to reckon with when competing against Trudeau in 2019.
What He Will Do Next?
Jagmeet Singh will now focus on rallying supporters and targeting center-left voters; who helped propel Trudeau’s Liberals to a decisive victory in 2015.
There are hurdles ahead. Jagmeet Singh does not have a seat in the federal parliament and will have to win one. Jagmeet Singh also needs to persuade voters that his party can form a government; although it has never held power federally.
There are also questions over whether Jagmeet Singh will have success in Quebec; Canada’s mainly French-speaking province, where overt signs of faith are frowned upon.
Why Delhi has to worry about Jagmeet Singh’s Rise in Canadian Politics?
There may be much to celebrate in Jagmeet Singh’s rise in Canadian politics. But there will be plenty of worries in New Delhi after his election as leader of the NDP.
Jagmeet Singh was denied a visa by the Indian government in December 2013. At that time, Jagmeet Singh was a member of the provincial parliament (MPP) in Ontario. This made him perhaps the first sitting member of a Western government to have been barred from travelling to India.
For many of these reasons, he has attracted plenty of support, particularly in his home turf in the Greater Toronto Area, and from pro-Khalistan elements. A leading figure among the separatists, Sukhminder Singh Hansra; was present at the hotel ballroom where the NDP leadership race results were announced on Sunday.
He was then a young attorney and the minister concerned was Congress leader Kamal Nath. Those groups disappointe-d with the lack of concern among Canadian politicians and impressed on Jagmeet Singh the need to have representation. Singh was initially reluctant to pursue politics but eventually capitulated and joined the NDP.
That journey has now led Jagmeet Singh to a position where he is a potential prime minister of Canada. And that’s a scenario that will make many in India uncomfortable.
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