Chandigarh, May 30 (IANS) Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who held the portfolio of Food Processing Industry in the previous Modi-led central government, got a Union cabinet berth for a second term on Thursday.
Wife of Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal and daughter-in-law of five-time Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, she retained the Bathinda Lok Sabha seat for a third consecutive term.
The husband-wife duo has won the parliamentary polls. The man known for micro poll management of his 98-year-old party, Sukhbir Badal won from Ferozepur by a record margin of 1,97,008 votes.
In 2009, she defeated Congress leader Raninder Singh, son of present Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, by over one lakh votes.
In 2014, Harsimrat Kaur defeated her estranged brother-in-law Manpreet Singh Badal, now the Punjab Finance Minister.
This time, Harsimrat, who will turn 53 on July 25, managed to defeat Congress candidate and legislator Amrinder Singh Raja Warring by a thin margin of 21,772 votes in a closely contested battle.
Harsimrat holds a degree in textile design and is a mother of three — two daughters and a son.
Her political career was prefaced with the launch of Nanhi Chhaan, a non-profit organisation set up with the objective of addressing adverse gender ratio and environmental degradation.
Her husband Sukhbir Badal refused to join the Modi cabinet as being the party chief he believes that his focus should now be on rebuilding the Akali Dal that has lost ground in the state, her aide told IANS.
Former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal remained the Minister of State for Industry during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1998-99.