The political fallout of Trudeau’s India visit
CanadaInternationalNews Mar 8, 2018 Remi Marchessault
Justin Trudeau’s India trip is still in the hot seat as news emerges of a known Sikh “nationalist” who attended the junket, invited by Sikh Liberal MP Randeep Sarai.
The gaffe filled trip to one of the world’s emerging economies took off with great optimism and indeed netted a $250-million investment in Canada. However, what should have been a routine trip eventually turned sour.
Wheels up for India and a busy visit, focused on creating good jobs and strengthening the deep connection between the people of our two countries. 🇨🇦🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/Jg6UmL9y4S
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 16, 2018
News of Jaspal Atwal’s involvement with the campaign broke when he was photographed with Trudeau’s wife during the eight-day trip. He gave a press conference Thursday to address some of the complaints.
According to critics, Atwal’s presence caused diplomatic friction.
In 1986, the then Sikh nationalist attempted to assassinate an Indian minister of state who was on a visit in Vancouver, for which he was charged and convicted. Atwal said he has renounced his affiliation with the illegal Sikh separatist group, but many questions have been raised about his invitation to a formal dinner with the Trudeau entourage, in Delhi.
In a press conference yesterday, Atwal has denied being a terrorist but expressed regret for Trudeau’s humiliation on the world stage. Liberal MP Randeep Sarai, who had been involved in getting Atwal on the guest list, has also stepped down from the B.C. caucus chair as a result.
A loud majority of critics are taking issue with how the India trip was handled. Twitter also has no shortage of those who are quick to accuse the Prime Minister of a botched visit.
Well done PM Trudeau. We are now engaged in a full diplomatic rift between Canada and India. https://t.co/dHguVsTG0v
— Senator Linda Frum (@LindaFrum) February 28, 2018
After an aimless eight-day procession of gaucherie, diplomatic outrage and burlesque fiasco across the length and breadth of India, Prime Minister Trudeau continues to drag Canada's standing ever deeper into this abyss of humiliation. Please, just stop. https://t.co/gwg8fprpPe
— Terry Glavin (@TerryGlavin) February 28, 2018
An online Ipsos poll also shows that confidence in the Prime Minister and the Liberals is at an all time low.
According to an exclusive Ipsos poll, reaction to a recent troubled trip to India indicates a shift in mood that would cost the Liberals an election if held tomorrow. https://t.co/H3WoFXLBQW
— Globalnews.ca (@globalnews) March 2, 2018
Trudeau tells CBC Toronto's Metro Morning that if he could have a do-over on his trip to India, there wouldn't have been an invitation to Jaspal Atwal. Background: https://t.co/RJfC3KEafv
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) March 8, 2018
Back on his home turf, Trudeau effectively accuses India of planting Khalistanis on him during his visit. As I said, the visit was an unmitigated disaster. https://t.co/mvHwta5nNU
— Kanchan Gupta (@KanchanGupta) February 27, 2018
Trudeau stated in an interview with Metro Morning that he would not have brought Atwal if there was a redo of the meeting.
Either way, Conservatives and others critical of Trudeau are having a field day after the diplomatic meeting, and they are not hesitating to raise their criticisms during Question Period.