With 47 Indian-origin candidates in the fray in Canada’a national elections, 16 of the sitting MPs, and a Punjabi versus Punjabi contest on several seats, their relatives back home are keeping their fingers crossed.
In 2015 elections, 38 Punjabis were in the fray and half of them made it. The population of Punjabis has multiplied since. All main parties — the Liberal Party, Conservative Party and New Democratic Party (NDP) — have picked Punjabi candidates this time with their campaigns even woven around Punjab.
Four with Punjab roots made it to Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet four years back, Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan, who hails from a village in Hoshiarpur, being one of them. He is recontesting from Vancouver South. Navdeep Bains, Amarjeet Sohi, and Bardish Chagger were the other ministers in the Trudeau Cabinet. Chagger is fighting from Waterloo. Bains is recontesting from Mississauga Malton. Sohi is pitted against former Conservative MP Tim Uppal in Edmonton Mill Woods.
With his family originally hailing from Barnala, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s video showing how Sikhs tie topknot (joora) had gone viral across the region. He is contesting from Burnaby South.
In Brampton Centre, sitting MP Ramesh Sangha (Liberal Party), Pawanjit Gosal (Conservative Party) and Baljit Bawa (People’s Party) are in the contest. Sangha hails from Lesriwal village near Jalandhar and often visits his hometown.