In political and Indo-Canadian circles here, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations in the House of Commons on Monday that India was possibly involved in the gunning down of Khalistani activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar are also viewed as his compulsion for his political survival.
Trudeau’s Liberal Party, which with its 157 seats fell short of the majority mark in the 338-member House of Commons in last year’s snap elections, depends on the Jagmeet Singh-led New Democratic Party, which has 24 MPs, for survival.
“Jagmeet, who is a known supporter of Khalistanis and who captured leadership of the NDP by recruiting a huge membership from his supporters, set terms for Trudeau for his support, including more spending on healthcare, free dental care for middle and low-income Canadians, housing support for poor, etc,” said a top Indo-Canadian politician in Vancouver, refusing to be named.
“Just as Khalistanis helped Jagmeet capture the leadership of the New Democratic Party, they also played a major role in Trudeau’s winning the leadership of the Liberal Party. Since both these leaders are in bed with Khalistanis, they are exploiting the alleged intelligence linking India to the murder of Nijjar,” said the Indo-Canadian politician.
After Trudeau’s allegations against India on Monday, Jagmeet Singh had spoken in Punjabi to appeal to his core constituency, promising to get to the bottom of the truth behind Nijjar’s murder.
“Jagmeet is now exacting his pound of flesh from Trudeau, forcing the Prime Minister to up the ante on India’s alleged involvement in the killing of Nijjar. I don’t know where this India-Canada row will end now,” said a Brampton journalist, requesting anonymity.
Many in the 1.8-millon strong Indo-Canadian community contend that the Indian row is not going to politically benefit either Trudeau or Jagmeet.
“The entire 800,000-strong Hindu community in Canada, which was previously divided in their political loyalties, will now most likely vote for the opposition Conservative Party in the next elections due in 2025. A high percentage of Sikh voters, who are now worried, will also ditch Trudeau’s party. We will have to wait till 2025 before our bilateral ties can possibly improve,” said the Brampton journalist.