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HindustanTimes Sun,23 Nov 2014

Amritsar people missed an opportunity by not electing Jaitely: Harsimrat

PTI  Amritsar, May 29, 2014
First Published: 20:12 IST(29/5/2014) | Last Updated: 21:18 IST(29/5/2014)

Finance minister Arun Jaitley would maintain his house in Amritsar and remain in touch with the people here despite losing the Lok Sabha elections from the holy city, union minster Harsimrat Kaur Badal said on Thursday.


Harsimrat said this after visiting the Golden Temple where she paid her obeisance at the holy Sikh shrine.

She said, she had met Jaitley in Delhi recently, who had assured her that he would remain in touch with Amritsar, maintain his house in the holy city and even work for its development.

Jaitley, a senior BJP leader and a Rajya Sabha MP, unsuccessfully contested the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat losing to former chief minister Amarinder Singh of Congress.

In reply to a question, she said she respected the mandate of the people but could not restrain herself from admitting that the people had "missed a tremendous opportunity" by failing to elect Jaitely from this seat.

At the Golden Temple she was presented with a 'siropa' and shawl at its Information Office. Later she also visited the Durgiana temple.

Earlier, she visited the Jallianwala Bagh where she placed a wreath at the memorial constructed in memory of those who were massacred at the ground during the freedom struggle days.

She also visited Ram Tirath, where she was given a traditional welcome by the temple authorities.

Harsimrat, Union Minister for Food Processing Industry also told reporters, "As far as I am concerned my priorities are clear. I feel there is a lot of wastage of foodgrains and that diversification coupled with food processing is the need of the hour.

"I also feel that besides adding value to our farm produce we should also ensure that consumers get the same at the most reasonable cost possible."  On being asked about the immediate steps her ministry would take for Punjab, Badal said now she had the responsibility of the entire country as far as food processing was concerned.

"However Punjab is at my heart. I know the problems of the farmers of Punjab and will take steps to mitigate them".

She also asserted that it was a misinterpretation to claim that the SAD-BJP alliance had fared very badly in the parliamentary election.

"The fact of the matter is that the number of seats won by us has gone up from five to six. Having said this I understand the need for introspection in areas we have not done well and that exercise is underway".

On being asked about what she planned to do to provide justice to the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims, she said she would do the required 'sewa' as stipulated by the almighty.

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