Indian-origin Canadian Jagmeet Singh-led NDP, which won 24 seats in the general election, is likely to emerge as the “kingmaker” where PM Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party held onto power in a nail-biting poll.
Indian-origin Canadian Jagmeet Singh-led New Democratic Party (NDP), which won 24 seats in the general election, is likely to emerge as the “kingmaker” where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party held onto power in a nail-biting poll, albeit as a weakened minority government.
In the just-concluded Canadian general election, the results of which were declared on Tuesday, the Liberal Party bagged 157 seats, the opposition Conservative 121, Bloc Quebecois 32, NDP 24, Green Party 3 and one Independent.
Trudeau would now require at least 13 legislators from his left-leaning rival parties to reach the ‘magic number’ of 170 to form a Liberal Party-led minority government in the 338-seat House of Commons.
“The New Democratic Party is poised to play kingmaker in a minority parliament after Jagmeet Singh spearheaded a turnaround on the federal campaign trail that may have saved his leadership and pulled his party from the brink of irrelevance,” the Toronto Star newspaper reported.
With 24 seats in its kitty, the NDP has lost nearly 50 per cent of the seats it had won in 2015. The party, led by Thomas Mulcair, had won 44 seats, becoming the third-largest party in the House of Commons in 2015.
Despite the drop in seats, Singh in a celebratory speech on Tuesday said his party will now be “working hard” to deliver on the “priorities that Canadians have”.
“When we get back to Ottawa, every single day we are in parliament, New Democrats are going to be working to make sure Canadians’ lives are better,” he was quoted as saying by globalnews.ca.
Singh said his party’s elected officials will now head to Ottawa to tackle a number of issues, including taking “real and urgent action” on climate change, making life more affordable for Canadians and making sure the “super wealthy pay their fair share”.
Singh, who was himself a prime ministerial contender, said he wants the NDP to play a “constructive” role in the new Parliament, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Addressing supporters at his party headquarters in Burnaby, 40-year-old Singh said, “It is such an amazing honour to be home here in British Columbia with all of you.”
The first non-white leader of a federal political party in Canada congratulated Trudeau, 47, on his win and said he spoke to him earlier in the day, the report said.
Jagmeet Singh along with 18 other Punjabis from different parties in Canada will be part of the new Canadian Parliament.
Jagmeet Singh took the BC’s Burnaby South seat with 5,634 votes and tallied a total of 15,532 votes.
“Thank you, Canada. What a night – and what an unforgettable journey this campaign has been. With our new NDP caucus in Ottawa, I’m incredibly excited to continue our critical work to achieve the priorities that we’ve heard from people across this country,” tweeted Jagmeet Singh.
A total of 47 Indian origin candidates took part in the Canadian Parliamentary elections and 18 of those who won were Punjabis.
Some of the notable Punjabis who won in their riding were:
1.Harjit Sajjan (Vancouver South, BC)
2. Randeep Singh Sarai (Surrey Center, BC)
3. Sukh Dhaliwal (Surrey Newton, BC)
4. Navdeep Singh Bains (Mississauga, Malton, Ontario)
5. Gagan Sikand (MIssissauga-STreetsville, Ontario)
6. Rameshwar Singh Sangha (Brampton Center, Ontario)
7. Maninder Singh Sidhu (Brampton East, Ontario)
8. Kamal Khera (Brampton West, Ontario)
9. Ruby Sahota (Brampton North, Ontario)
10. Sonia Sidhu (Sonia Sidhu)
11. Bardish Chagger (Waterloo, Ontario)
13. Raj Saini (Kitchener Center, Ontario)
Jagmeet Singh (Burnaby South)
1. Tim Singh Uppal (Edmonton-Millwoods, Alberta)
2. Jasraj Singh Hallan (Calgary McCall, Alberta)
3. Jag Sahota (Calgary Skyview, Alberta)
4. Bob Saroya (Markhan Unionville)