Punjab animal husbandry minister Gulzar Singh Ranike, who was supposed to inaugurate the two-day animal fair at animal ground at Vallah on Thursday, failed to keep his date with the event, which was inaugurated by his son Gurinderpal Singh Lali, a member of Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and Youth Akali Dal general secretary, in his absence.
This animal fair is an annual affair, but this year animal husbandry deputy director, Dr Pawan Kumar Malhotra, claimed that it was different. He added that the fair aimed at promoting dairy farming along with poultry, sheep and goat farming.
"We focused on how to bring changes in the dairy sector, develop good breeds and provide healthy diet to the cattle," he said.
Commenting on inauguration by Lali, Dr Malhotra said, "The animal husbandry minister was out of station on account of some important work assigned to him by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. Deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat was also held up somewhere. Lali was available, so he was invited".
Meanwhile, Lali asserted that his father was devoted to the department. "However, he could not be around today on account of an important engagement," he said.
Farmers from the rural areas of the district attended the fair with their pet dogs, horses, goats, sheep and cows. A competition was held to judge the best animal in different categories. The event aimed at encouraging the unemployed youth to join farming and establish well-equipped dairy farms.