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Who is Jagmeet Singh? Canada's 'TikTok' Politician & Kingmaker Twice Over

Jagmeet Singh is set to play kingmaker for the second time in a row. But who is the popular desi politician?

Published
World
2 min read

Video Editors: Sandeep Suman & Mohd Irshad

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Canada voted in a new Parliament on 20 September in the snap polls ordered by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in August, in hopes of coming back with a majority government.

But as luck would have it, Trudeau's Liberal Party returned to power with yet another minority, and would again have to look at Indian-origin politician and the leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) Jagmeet Singh for support in the Parliament – to pass legislations and win confidence motions if they should arise.

And so, Jagmeet Singh, whose party returned with slight gains, is set to play the kingmaker in Parliament for the second time in a row. But who is the popular desi neta?

The 'TikTok' Politician 

Jagmeet Singh is one of the first politicians in Canada to use the short video platform TikTok to connect to his voter base. While campaigning for the 2019 election, he made his first political TikTok – a 15-second video – which went viral and was even acknowledged by some of his opponents.

Singh, with his leftist values, holds appeal for the young voters in Canada, some of whom prefer his politics to that of Trudeau's.

He is also active on other social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and has many a Reel to his name.

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His Anti-Trudeau Tirade

While both Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh appeal to the left of centre voters in Canada, Singh is farther left on the spectrum.

During his campaign, he bashed Trudeau on issues like healthcare and climate change, terming him “a big talker and a little doer“. Singh even went on to say:

“I am not like Justin Trudeau. I have lived a different life. I understand the pain of not being valued.“

After coming back to Parliament in similar numbers, Singh has vowed to keep Trudeau on his toes on issues like taxing the rich and waiving student loans.

Troubled Beginnings

Jagmeet Singh, who is now married to fashion designer and entrepreneur Gurkiran Kaur Sidhu and is expecting his first child with her, was born in Scarborough, Ontario, to Indian immigrants.

He had a far from ideal childhood. Singh's father Jagtaran Singh suffered from alcoholism and was reportedly abusive towards his children.

After one such incident, Singh, then at university, took his brother to live with him.

As a child he was also at the receiving end of racist bullying in school. Singh has recounted that he was pushed around and called a “Paki“ and “diaper head“ as a child.

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Set to Be Kingmaker

However, with his hard work and a social media savvy team, Singh has turned the narrative, and finds himself yet again in the role of a kingmaker in the Canadian Parliament.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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