At the stroke of midnight, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and his MP wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal, accompanied by their children, paid obeisance at the Golden Temple and offered prayers for the Delhi rape victim.
Revenue and public relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia and
his family also paid obeisance at Harmandar Sahib and prayed that the New Year ushers prosperity and progress in Punjab.
Harsimrat, while offering prayers for the Delhi rape victim, vowed to further strengthen the "Nanhi Chhaan" movement for the cause of the girl child. She said that under this movement, she would lay stress on crime against women and the practice of female foeticide.
Praying for peace in Punjab, Sukhbir said that in the New Year, the government would lay emphasis on development activities to take the state forward.
German ambassador, wife visit shrine
Germany's ambassador to India Michael Steiner, on Tuesday, paid obeisance at the Golden Temple along with his wife.
Later, the two were honoured with 'siropas' and a set of Sikh religious books by SGPC secretary Dalmegh Singh. He evinced keen interest in the history of the shrine as he went around the 'parikarma'.
Film crew offers prayers, too
Joining thousands of devotees from across the globe, the stars of the coming Punjabi film "Saadi love story", Amrinder Gill and Diljit Dosanjh, along with the film's writer-director Dheeraj Ratan began their New Year by paying obeisance at Harmandar Sahib on Tuesday.
Gill said that they had come to seek the blessings of the Almighty for the coming year as well as for their film, which would be released on January 11.
Diljit said it was the first time that he had come to Harmandar Sahib on January 1. "I want to thank Dheeraj for bringing us here," he said.
Diljit said that since 13 is his lucky number, he hopes that the year 2013 brings him happiness and success.
The trio remained tightlipped on the movie, saying they had come only to pay obeisance at the shrine and not to promote their film. "I am feeling a bit of pressure since two big stars of Punjabi cinema are working with me. They have already proved themselves, but I am yet to prove myself as a director," said Dheeraj, who is making his debut as a director with this movie, which is a romantic comedy.