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I have more Sikhs in Cabinet than Modi: Canadian PM

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responds to questions during a Canada 2020 luncheon on Friday in Washington.  

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There were also 17 Sikh MPs elected in the election in Canada in October last year, the highest number of Sikhs ever elected.

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.

The quip came when Mr. Trudeau was taking 10 questions from students at the American University in northwest Washington during his state visit to the U.S.

During the half-an-hour session at the university on Friday, a student named Jahan from the Punjab province of Pakistan told Mr. Trudeau that it was really great to see so many Punjabis in his Cabinet.

“I have more Sikhs in my Cabinet than Modi does,” Mr. Trudeau was quoted as saying by the Canadian daily The Star.

The four Sikh Canadians inducted into Mr. Trudeau’s Cabinet include Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, a combat veteran who did three tours in Afghanistan as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces.

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.

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2017 9:10:37 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/i-have-more-sikhs-in-cabinet-than-modi-canadian-pm/article8348687.ece