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Mrs Bhinder only woman to become MP six times
Gurdaspur | December 15, 2006 9:49:28 PM IST
 
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Mrs Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder, Congress member of the Rajya Sabha who died at a New Delhi hospital after a prolonged illness today, was the only woman in the country to become MP six times -- five times of the Lok Sabha and once as member of Upper House of Parliament.

She was a popular Congress leader of this border district winning the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat for a record five times.

Wife of the high profile former IPS officer, Pritam Singh Bhinder, Mrs Bhinder entered politics in 1980 due to the close proximity of her husband with the late Sanjay Gandhi. She was picked by Mr Sanjay Gandhi to contest the Gurdaspur seat in 1980 and she won by a handsome margin.

Thereafter there was no looking back and she went on to win from Gurdaspur in 1985, 1989, 1992 and 1996. In 1993 she was made the Union Minister of State for Tourism by the then Prime Minister P V Narashima Rao.

However in the last two Lok Sabha polls, she was defeated by Bollywood star and BJP candidate Vinod Khanna. After remaining in political oblivion after her last defeat she was inducted into the Rajya Sabha from Punjab.

Born in September 1942, Mrs Bhinder graduated from the prestigious Panjab University, Chandigarh. She was a staunch loyalist of the Gandhi family and was well versed with Congress politics.

She has been instrumental in the development of Gurdaspur constituency, considered as the most backward area of Punjab. During her stint as Union Minister of State for Tourism, she established a National Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition here.

She also developed a chain of Technical Educational insitutes such as IITs and Polytechnic's covering all the assembly segments.

Beant College of Engineering and Technology was also set up due to her efforts. Presently she was trying hard to complete her pending works related to the industrialisation of Gurdaspur parliamentary consitutency by reviving Industrial Growth Centre in Pathankot and providing tax holiday and other facilites to this backward area on the pattern of adjoining states of J&K and Himachal Pradesh.

It was Mrs Bhinder who got connected each village of Gurdaspur constituency by roads, electricity, drinking water supply and sanitation facilities. She not only developed a network of schools, colleges, dispensaries and hospitals but also provided employment to thousands of young persons by establishing a Milkplant at Gurdaspur and a sugar mill at Paniar.

She also saved thousands of workers of New Egertion Woollen Mills, Dhariwal from becoming unemployed by prventing the closure of the mill and reviving it on a war footing.

Her husband Mr Pritam Singh Bhinder was IGP of Haryana, Commissioner Delhi Police besides DGP of Punjab. He finally retired as DGP of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

UNI XC-HS RP HS1739

 

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