The opening of the office of union food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal in the district administrative complex (DAC) premises here, first time since its inauguration seven-and-a-half months ago, for conducting a meeting with officials of Bathinda and Muktsar district administration, virtually left the Bathinda administration huffed and puffed.
The decision taken all of a sudden to conduct the meeting in the office of the minister pushed the district administration into hurriedness as the office, that wasn't opened for over seven months, wasn't ready for conducting a meeting with layers of dust in the main room of the office as well as in the visitors' waiting room. A team of safai workers was deputed to clean the office with civil as well as police officials monitoring the safai drive.
According to the programme, Harsimrat was scheduled to conduct a meeting of the administration officials at the circuit house at 12:30 noon here but she got late and the meeting was rescheduled for 2:30 pm.
Meanwhile, the venue of the meeting was also shifted to her office in the DAC. With the office having not been opened even foe once since its inauguration, the entire machinery swung into action to clean the office premises. Officials even requested the news cameramen not to click photographs of the cleanliness drive.
Even the safai workers were heard saying: "Lagda kayee mahinyan ton khulle hi nahin eh kamre dhood hi dhood haigi (It seems these rooms haven't been opened for several months as dirt is all around here)".
The Union minister had herself inaugurated the office on November 13 last year, but the office has not been opened since then, as she never visited the office despite being in the city several times. The office has been opened with a purpose to provide people of her parliamentary constituency a place where they can approach her and submit their grievances.
SAD and BJP share same notion on drugs issue in Punjab
Meanwhile, talking to journalists after the meeting, when asked on the issue of war of words between chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and union minister for social justice and empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot a few days ago, she said that the Congress has defamed the state under a conspiracy on the issue of drugs and both SAD and BJP shared the same notion on the issue and there are on differences between them.
She also welcomed the decision of Rajasthan high court banning the sale of poppy husk there and said that the SAD has been maintaining that drugs are not produced in Punjab but these are smuggled into Punjab from other states and from across the international border.