Indian girl is a minister in Norway

अंजू चौधरी
Hisar born Anju Chaudhary Manneraak (33) has done the state proud by becoming a minister in Norway.
The daughter of a water pump operator in HAU, she took charge in the southern state of West Agdar in Norway on October 6 following her win in the provincial elections last month.
Anju, who is a member of the Road and Transport, Land and Environment Committee, represents the Progress Party in the 35- member local parliament of the state. She will serve for four years.
On a visit to her native place, she told TNS that she had migrated to Norway to meet her elder sister in 2007, ended up marrying a Norwegian and finally become a politician.
“I had gone to meet my sister Manju who was pursuing her PhD. I met Haakon Manneraak at a birthday party and we liked each other and I married him. I learnt the language within three months and there was no looking back after that,” she said.
Accompanied by her husband and other Indian and Norwegian relatives, she went on for shopping in the crowded Rajguru market without any fuss or security. “There is no VIP culture in Norway. Obviously, you get security as and when required but not all the time,” she said.
Anju completed her MA in Administration and joined a government service as an Advisor in the Union Road and Transport Department. She became an active member of her party after gaining her citizenship in 2010. She went on to become a member of her county and was later on elected as member of the Vest Agder parliament.
“It’s merit that counts in politics there and there is no lobbying. There are no rallies. You have to canvass with certain conditions and you have to participate in one-on-one debate with your rivals,” she informed.
Her husband, Haakon who runs a driving school, who has visited India a number of times said that he loves the Indian culture, attire, especially kurta payjama and the food. “It’s her confidence and smartness which attracted me during our first meeting”, he quipped.
Anju’s father, Ram Pratap, said that he is proud of her daughter and supported her in every decision, be it marrying a foreigner or settling in a foreign country.


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