NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh might soon be married as social media posts show him adorned in traditional Punjabi dress at a ceremony usually held in advance of a wedding.
A spokesperson for Singh said Monday the event should not be labelled an engagement but rather simply a "celebration of families meeting for the first time," where gifts are exchanged and a dinner is held. Despite some other reports, the two have not yet been married.
Singh is pictured alongside Gurkiran Kaur Sidhu, a co-founder of Jangiiro, a firm that specializes in "new-age" Punjabi clothing. A Toronto-based wedding photographer, Gagandeep Singh, posted a shot of the two posing together 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 traditional ceremony that precedes a Sikh wedding. The word means "to stop," signalling it is time to stop the search of partner as a match has been found. The two have been dating for some time, the spokesperson said, and this is simply the next step in their relationship.
A scan of Sidhu's Twitter feed shows she often expresses support for Singh's political activity, praising his motion in the Ontario legislature to declare the 1984 attacks on Sikhs in India a genocide. Her Instagram account features a picture of Singh grabbing her hand shortly after the leadership results — he posted an impressive first-ballot victory — were announced in October.
A video posted on Sunday by DJ K Square — an entertainer who has played at the wedding of high-profile Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty — shows the couple entering a room at a Brampton, Ont. banquet hall, surrounded by well wishers, with the caption: "We've done house parties before but this one is definitely special. Another Engagement tonight alongside @djssquared@djksquare for @jagmeetsingh and @ginu_sidhu," with the hashtag "engagement."
HuffPost Canada was first to report a supposed engagement, referencing a video posted on the Jangirro Instagram account that features the two dancing to bhangra music with Singh thanking a DJ for flying in for the "special occasion." That video has since been removed. Other posts, also removed, described Singh as "groom to be," and Sidhu as "bride to be."
On Sunday, a spokesperson for the leader had told the online news outlet that the ceremony was not an engagement.
Singh was asked about his relationship status during an interview for the CBC's the fifth estate taped over the summer. He refused to comment, saying he would not confirm nor deny that he is in a relationship and would leave it at that.