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HomePoliticsModi sticks with Harsimrat Kaur Badal, picks her over husband Sukhbir

Modi sticks with Harsimrat Kaur Badal, picks her over husband Sukhbir

Harsimrat Kaur Badal, food processing minister in the previous Modi govt, is one of only two Akali MPs in Lok Sabha this time.

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Chandigarh: Shiromani Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal has been made a cabinet minister in the second Narendra Modi government as well.

Harsimrat, daughter-in-law of six-time former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal and wife of former deputy chief minister and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, was the food processing minister in Modi’s previous council of ministers.

The 52-year-old leader has been elected as the MP for Bathinda for the third straight term.

Her achievements as minister

In her time at the food processing ministry, Harsimrat focused largely on setting up cold chains projects for perishable agro products, and reducing wastage.

She also encouraged the setting up of smaller food parks across the country, and envisaged the ‘Sampada’ scheme to promote agri-cluster development.

In Punjab alone, she cleared 41 projects worth Rs 400 crore, leveraging an additional investment of Rs 1,000 crore. Three mega food parks were set up in Punjab during her tenure.

Also readNew Modi govt — Amit Shah, Jaishankar in, Sushma, Maneka & Rathore out

Picked over Sukhbir 

Since Sukhbir Badal too has been elected as an MP from Ferozpur this time, it was expected that he would be chosen as minister over Harsimrat. Sources in the Akali Dal, however, said it was decided by the family that in case one of them was to be chosen as a minister, it would be Harsimrat. Sukhbir, meanwhile, will continue to focus on the reviving the party in the state.

Apart from the Badal couple, the SAD, which has been allied to the BJP for several decades in Punjab, has not won any other seat in Punjab this time. The SAD contested on 10 seats and BJP on three for Punjab’s 13 Lok Sabha seats.

BJP’s Punjab ministers

The BJP, meanwhile, won two of the three seats it contested. One of these new MPs, former Punjab IAS officer Som Parkash from Hoshiarpur, has also been inducted in the council of ministers as a minister of state.

Parkash had contested the Lok Sabha elections unsuccessfully in 2009, but won assembly elections in 2012 and 2017.

Hardeep Singh Puri, who contested from Amritsar but lost, has retained his place as a union minister.

Also readBJP chief Amit Shah becomes top minister – insight into the rise of the party commissar


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