People in the region rejoiced as the local Member of Parliament Santosh Chowdhary was inducted in the union council of ministers as a minister of state.
It has been decades since an MP of the constituency had held a ministerial post at the Centre. Late Giani Zail Singh had become a union minister and later the President of India after his election as an MP from Hoshiarpur in 1980.
She twice represented the Phillaur (reserve) constituency. In 2009, she was given the ticket from Hoshiarpur, where she won by a margin of 366 votes.
As soon as the news of her induction reached the city, Congress activists gathered at various points and distributed sweets. Her house in Piplanwala was also flooded with her supporters.
"I am happy that the party has reposed faith in me. I am thankful to the AICC president Sonia Gandhi, vice president Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for giving me this honour", Chowdhary said over phone from Delhi. "I am thankful that the party has given a backward district its due. I will try to do justice to my job", she added.
Santosh Chowdhary comes from a family of veteran politicians. Her father-in-law Sunder Singh and father Roshan Lal had served in the union and PEPSU cabinets respectively. She has been the chairperson of Punjab Public Service Commission and National Commission of Safai Karamcharis. Her husband Ram Lubhaya has also been an MLA.
Welcoming the development, district Congress president and local MLA Sunder Sham Arora said, "Hoshiarpur has been doubly lucky. Yesterday Ambika Soni was appointed general secretary of AICC and today Mrs Chowdhary has been elevated as a minister. We are thankful to the party high command. It is a great moment for the people of Hoshiarpur and the party," he said.