Four Sikh ministers in Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet trump Modi’s two
Washington: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, known for his witty repartees, told an American audience here that he has more Sikhs in his Cabinet than his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau at his cabinet’s swearing-in ceremony in Ottawa last year. File Pic/AFP
The quip came when Trudeau was taking 10 questions from students at the American University in northwest Washington during his state visit to the US.
During the half-an-hour session at the university on Friday, a student named Jahan from the Punjab province of Pakistan told Trudeau that it was really great to see so many Punjabis in his cabinet.
“I have more Sikhs in my cabinet than Modi does,” Trudeau said. The 44-year-old PM, who assumed office in November last year, surprised one and all by including in his Cabinet four Sikh-Canadians — Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, Small Business Minister Bardish Chagger and Innovation Minister Navdeep Singh Bains.
There were also 17 Sikh MPs elected in the election in Canada in October last year — 16 from the Liberal Party of Canada and one Conservative — the highest number of Sikhs ever elected.
In contrast, there are two Sikh Cabinet ministers in the Modi government — Maneka Gandhi, who is a Sikh by birth, and Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who is the Food Processing Minister.
Trudeau, in the past, has been spotted doing bhangra moves and visiting Gurdwaras several times. He has also
participated in Diwali celebrations apart from a ‘Gurbani’ recital. He has even helped out women in preparing meals in a langar.