December 10, 2019
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A Very Warm Welcome

A Very Warm Welcome
The Centre had categorised Canadian PM Jean Chretien’s two-day trip to Punjab to inaugurate a consulate in Chandigarh as a "working visit" ie, no official participation. But in Punjab, they had other ideas. So, while Haryana sent just a secretary to receive Chretien, Punjab was represented by CM Amarinder Singh himself. At the reception that followed, Union minister for chemicals and fertilisers S.S. Dhindsa, ex-CM and state PWD minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal et al were in attendance. By the end of the day, the Canadian premier was proclaimed a friend of Punjab and rechristened Jean Singh Chretien. At the Golden temple, it was Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal’s turn to roll out the red carpet. And the Centre’s directive? Well, the CM had this take: "Punjabis have a great heart. We needn’t be told by anyone how to treat our guests." It seems Canada’s come a little closer, at least where visas are concerned.
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