Is a wed­ding in Singh’s fu­ture?

Toronto Star - - FRONT PAGE - BRUCE CAM­PION-SMITH OT­TAWA BUREAU CHIEF

Cel­e­bra­tory pho­tos spark spec­u­la­tion, but NDP leader will not con­firm or deny

OT­TAWA— It had all the trap­pings of an en­gage­ment party — el­e­gant clothes, fes­tive gath­er­ing and best wishes from friends — but Jag­meet Singh isn’t quite ready to pro­nounce that he’s pre­par­ing to tie the knot.

The stylish NDP leader ap­peared in a se­ries of pho­tos in so­cial me­dia posts on the week­end with Gurki­ran Kaur Sidhu, an en­tre­pre­neur and fash­ion de­signer, each in tra­di­tional Pun­jabi cloth­ing at what ap­pear to be pre-en­gage­ment cel­e­bra­tions.

Toronto-area photographer Ga­gan­deep Singh posted a photo on In­sta­gram of the cou­ple out­side against a snowy back­drop with the cap­tion, “Con­grats to the fu­ture prime min­is­ter of Canada @jag­meets­ingh & the fu­ture first lady @gin­u_sidhu on their Rokha!!”

A roka is a Sikh cer­e­mony at which the fam­i­lies of the cou­ple meet and can some­times mark their en­gage­ment with a wed­ding date to fol­low.

In­sta­gram user djk­square posted a short video of the cou­ple en­ter­ing a re­cep­tion room. “We’ve done house par­ties be­fore but this one is def­i­nitely spe­cial. Another en­gage­ment tonight along­side,” he wrote.

James Smith, a spokesper­son for Singh, said there’s no doubt that Singh and Sidhu are in a se­ri­ous re­la­tion­ship but said that it’s pre­ma­ture to talk en­gage­ment.

“It’s a cel­e­bra­tion of the fam­i­lies meet­ing to­gether and a cel­e­bra­tion of a very se­ri­ous re­la­tion­ship be­tween these two,” Smith said in an in­ter­view.

Smith stressed it’s “too soon” to de­clare the cou­ple are on the road to an en­gage­ment or talk­ing about wed­ding dates.

“Yes, too soon to say that. It’s con­ceiv­able that one might take this to mean that it’s a likely pos­si­bil­ity. But con­fir­ma­tion? No,” Smith said.

Huff­in­g­ton Post was the first to re­port on the party and high­lighted so­cial me­dia com­ments con­grat­u­lat­ing the cou­ple — posts that have since been deleted as news of the party spread.

Sidhu is co-founder of jangi­iro, which bills it­self as a “new age” Pun­jabi cloth­ing line.

In ad­di­tion to her work in fash­ion, Sidhu, 27, also does some in­ter­na­tional hu­man­i­tar­ian work, Smith said. She stud­ied busi­ness eco­nomics at York Univer­sity.

The two have known each other “quite some time,” but Smith did not know the de­tails of how they met.

Un­til now, Singh has been guarded about his per­sonal life, de­clin­ing to con­firm or deny that he’s even in a re­la­tion­ship.

Singh, 38, was first elected as an NDP MPP in 2011, rep­re­sent­ing Bra­malea- Gore-Mal­ton. While at Queen’s Park he served as deputy leader for the NDP.

He quit as MPP on Oct. 20 af­ter win­ning lead­er­ship of the fed­eral NDP on Oct. 1.

Since win­ning the lead­er­ship, Singh has in­di­cated he will press for more ag­gres­sive cuts to green­house gas emis­sions.

He also wants to make “fun­da­men­tal” changes to the jus­tice sys­tem. This would in­clude a fed­eral ban on racial pro­fil­ing and his call to de­crim­i­nal­ize all drugs.

Singh has not yet de­ter­mined where he will run to be an MP in the 2019 fed­eral elec­tion.

“It’s a cel­e­bra­tion of the fam­i­lies meet­ing to­gether and a cel­e­bra­tion of a very se­ri­ous re­la­tion­ship be­tween these two.” JAMES SMITH SPOKESPER­SON FOR JAG­MEET SINGH

An In­sta­gram post shows Jag­meet Singh with Gurki­ran Kaur Sidhu.

GURJOT BRAR/FACE­BOOK

NDP leader Jag­meet Singh and en­tre­pre­neur Ginu Sidhu have known each other for “quite some time,” says Singh spokesper­son James Smith.

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