LUDHIANA: The city of Ludhiana in Punjab is famous for its woollen clothes, home to Sahir Ludhianvi, and has produced many notable business tycoons such as Sunil Mittal of the Airtel group.
But there is more. An industrial hub, the city is known to influence politics in the state to a considerable extent.
The New Indian team spoke to a few notable industrialists from the city to understand the feelers from the ground.
Cremica group run by Rajni Bector is famous for its salad toppings, ice creams and biscuits, which are sold globally in more than 60 countries. At 82 years of age, she runs one of the biggest food companies in India.
Born in Karachi in 1940, Bector grew up in Lahore. Her father was an accountant general while other relatives held high-ranking positions in the government. Being very fond of cooking and throwing parties, she would attend courses related to food or cooking that were available in Ludhiana. Once in a fest, she put up a stall of ice cream but there was a Kwality ice cream stall too, and she thought that everyone would flock at their (Kwality) and her stall wouldn’t attract anyone.
However, to her surprise, everyone came to her stall for ice cream. Since then she has self developed over 40 flavours of ice cream. Even the likes of Indira Gandhi and American Ambassador have enjoyed her catering.
She shares her views on the state of Punjab and its development in the past decade, ahead of polls on 20th Feb. She tells us, “There has been no development in the state whatsoever in the past 10 years as no new industries have come up. There are no incentives here for people to vote.”
According to her all previous Chief Ministers such as Prakash Singh Badal, Amrinder Singh and Charanjit Channi are similar in their work ethics. About the recent incident of PM’s security lapse in Punjab, Bector feels it was done intentionally to disrupt the Prime Minister. She firmly believes that PM Modi has achieved tremendous cachet and has also taken India to great, unprecedented heights.
Other prominent restaurateurs in the city, Harjinder Singh Kukreja and Raghav Kansal, also shared their views ahead of the elections. Harjinder Singh tells us, “Punjab has always been unpredictable in terms of elections. We will only know on the election day what people of Punjab feel.” According to him people of Punjab are very political.
Other restaurateur Raghav Kansal says he will keep both the candidate as well the party in mind while voting as both are important factors. He urges people to come out in large numbers on 20th February and take part in the carnival of democracy.