After making it to British and Canadian parliaments, Punjabis have now made their presence felt in the Australian elections. Jagjit Singh 'Jag' Chugha (39), who migrated from Moga in 1976, has become the first Punjabi to contest as well as win the federal elections Down Under.
The Liberal Party candidate won the Scullin seat (Victoria), considered a Labour Party stronghold. The Liberals are set to form the new government.
Talking to Hindustan Times on the phone, Chugha thanked his poll campaign team, the Liberal Party, political supporters and mentors, his community, volunteers and the media for their support.
"My poll campaign ran for only two months, but the results were remarkable. My campaign team did a great job. Even opposition parties were impressed by the Liberal victory in Scullin," he added.
Chugha, who did his entire studies in Australia, has degrees in laws and commerce. He worked as a lawyer for more than 15 years. Now, he is a senior counsel at a top-100 Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed company.
Chugha's father, Pritam Singh, who unsuccessfully contested the previous state elections in Australia, was his campaign director.
The newly-elected federal member is also a businessman with interests in restaurants, wholesale grocery, manufacturing and flour mills. He is also a migration agent, running VIP Student Migration.
His family has a business background in India and it established one of the first grocery businesses in Australia.
Scullin is a 169-square-km constituency that includes Victoria state's Diamond Creek, Wattle Glen, Hurstbridge, Plenty, Yarrambat, Watsonia North, Bundoora, Thomastown, Mill Park, Lalor, Epping, South Morang and Wollert suburbs. The key issues are cost of living, cost of doing business and job security.