The newly sworn-in union minister for food processing, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, on Monday said she would work "as much as possible" to make a "meaningful and positive contribution" to her ministry.
While thanking the Almighty as well as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, for reposing faith in her, the Bathinda MP said in a statement issued here it was a great opportunity to a representative of Punjab to lead the food processing ministry. "I am confident this decision will give a boost to agri-processing in Punjab as well as the entire country," she said. "I look forward to taking guidance from Parkash Singh Badal, chief minister [and her father-in-law], on ways to add value to the agriculture produce of farmers across the country."
Harsimrat will visit Amritsar on Tuesday to pay obeisance at Harmandar Sahib. Stating this, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) general secretary Harcharan Bains told the media that the minister would be accompanied by her husband and Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and other members of her family. According to Bains, the Bathinda MP is the first woman parliamentarian from Punjab to become a cabinet minister in the union council of ministers. Although there have been woman ministers from Punjab in the past, none of them had had a full cabinet rank.