Canadian Sikh Leader’s Younger Brother to Contest Provincial Election
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s brother Gurratan Singh will contest provincial elections from Brampton East, a suburb in Toronto, Canada.
Five months after Jagmeet Singh was appointed leader of the federal New Democratic Party (NDP) in Canada, his younger brother and right hand man Gurratan Singh earned a provincial NDP nomination to contest Ontario elections on April 2, the Hindustan Times reported. Singh is nominated from East Brampton, a suburb of Toronto, in the elections scheduled to take place on June 7.
The announcement of the nomination of the 33-year-old criminal defense lawyer was greeted with cheers. Gurratan Singh was flanked by his brother Jagmeet and provincial leader Andrea Horwath at the occasion.
At the closing of the celebration, which was held at Brampton Civic Hospital, Horwath tweeted: “Had a blast tonight welcoming @gurratansingh to the team with a little help from his big bro, @theJagmeetSingh. Gurratan is running in #BramptonEast, and together, we are running to win this election!”
Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath said in a statement: “Gurratan will be a fantastic representative for this riding and the people of Brampton, and I’m proud to have his voice be a part of our movement for change for the better in Ontario.”
This isn’t the first time Gurratan Singh has ventured into electoral politics. In 2014, he ran for the seat of Peel regional councillor, and lost the election. However, since then, he has been actively engaged in politics, playing a key role in NDP’s leadership election that happened last year. He is also chair of the City of Brampton’s inclusion and equity committee and is on the Peel Art Gallery advisory board.
During the announcement of his intent to contest elections, Gurratan Singh had said that he has been active in the community for the past 10 years. Given the controversies surrounding his elder brother, Singh also faced questions about his stance on Khalistan, and proceeded to condemn all forms of violence.
Jagmeet Singh, before his election as the NDP leader last October, represented the same constituency, which includes much of Bramalea-Gore-Malton. Gurratan Singh’s nomination is seen as a sign of further strengthening for the Dhaliwal dynasty in parts of Brampton.
Singh has also been credited as Jagmeet’s “secret weapon.” He was at Jagmeet’s elbow for the first week of his role as NDP leader even though he was not a member of the party, the Huffington Post had earlier reported.
Speaking to Canadian media about his brother, who acts as his “reality check,” Jagmeet had said earlier: “If I give a speech and people are like ‘That was OK, that was OK’, I’ll be like ‘Gurratan, tell me the truth.’ And he’ll be like ‘It was horrible, man. You did a really bad job’.”
The brothers complement each other temperamentally — if Jagmeet deals in big picture, Gurratan deals with the details, the Toronto Life had said in an earlier feature. The website quoted Gurratan Singh as saying: “He wants to see amazing, beautiful things, and I’ll be like, ‘Okay, but how do we do this?’ If he wants to do something now, sometimes I have to tell him it will take a couple of years. He’s carefree, and I can be more pragmatic.”