One of many strongest regional satraps of the Congress, Amarinder Singh was the chief who put the occasion again within the saddle in Punjab after an intensely fought ballot battle that decimated the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and crushed the Aam Aadmi Get together’s (AAP) dream of increasing its footprint past Delhi.
The 79-year-old broadly revered and standard chief steered the Congress in 2017 to a landslide victory within the 117-member meeting to occupy the chief minister’s put up for the second time.
The ‘maharaja’s’ win in Punjab after 10 years had additionally rekindled the hopes for the revival of the grand previous occasion. However now all appears not properly within the occasion’s state unit as over 50 MLAs have written to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in search of that Singh get replaced as chief minister, a improvement that comes nearly 4 months forward of meeting elections within the state.
Singh has now determined to give up from the put up of the chief minister. Belonging to a really uncommon breed of politicians who’ve seen motion within the Indo-Pak battle, Singh tasted success within the 2017 polls after Akali Dal supremo Parkash Singh Badal foiled his earlier makes an attempt to turn out to be chief minister in 2007 and 2012.
Navjot Singh Sidhu joined the Congress just a few months forward of the polls after quitting the BJP. Hypothesis was rife that he could be given the put up of deputy chief minister, however he was made a Cupboard Minister. Relations between him and the chief minister had been by no means heat.
Simply two years after the Congress got here to energy, Sidhu was stripped off key portfolios within the cupboard reshuffle in June 2019 and he then resigned from the state cupboard. Singh had divested Sidhu of the native authorities and tourism and cultural affairs departments and allotted him the ability and new and renewable vitality portfolio although the latter by no means assumed cost of his new division.
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Shortly afterwards, Sidhu had approached the then Congress president Rahul Gandhi and “apprised him of the state of affairs”.
The strain between Singh and Sidhu got here out within the open. Whereas Singh blamed him for the “inept dealing with” of the native authorities division, claiming that it resulted in “poor efficiency” of the Congress in city areas within the (2019) Lok Sabha polls, the previous cricketer, then again stated “(Congress chief) Rahul Gandhi is my captain…Rahul Gandhi is the captain of the captain (Singh) additionally.”
Nonetheless, issues grew to become worse and eventually, Sidhu was appointed state Congress president, however robust opposition from Singh. As soon as a frontrunner of the Akali Dal, Singh, the ‘scion of Patiala’, in his brief Military profession, fought within the 1965 battle.
Son of late Maharaja Yadavindra Singh of Patiala, Singh did his preliminary education at Lawrence Faculty, Sanawar and Doon Faculty in Dehradun, earlier than becoming a member of the Nationwide Defence Academy, Kharagwasla in 1959 and graduating from there in 1963.
Commissioned within the Indian Military in 1963, he was posted in 2nd Bn. Sikh Regiment (each his father and grandfather had served the battalion), served in Discipline Space – Indo Tibetan border for 2 years and was appointed Aide-de-Camp to Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh, GOC-in-C Western Command.
The political profession of Singh, who was thought of an in depth good friend of late Rajiv Gandhi, started in January 1980 when he was elected an MP. However he resigned from the Congress and the Lok Sabha in protest towards the entry of the military into the Golden Temple throughout Operation Blue Star in 1984.
After becoming a member of the Akali Dal in August 1985, Singh obtained elected to the Punjab meeting on an Akali Dal (Longowal) ticket within the 1995 elections. Throughout his first time period as chief minister (2002-07), his authorities in 2004 handed the state regulation terminating Punjab’s water sharing pact with neighbouring states.
Final yr, his authorities introduced 4 payments, which had been later handed by the state meeting, to “counter the contentious farm laws enacted by Parliament”.
In his second time period, his authorities additionally introduced a waiver of crores of rupees value of loans underneath the farm debt waiver scheme for labourers and the landless farming neighborhood. Singh fought the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Amritsar and defeated BJP’s Arun Jaitley by a margin of multiple lakh votes.
He then resigned in November as MP after the Supreme Court docket termed Punjab’s 2004 Act terminating the Satluj-Yamuna Hyperlink (SYL) canal settlement as unconstitutional.
Just a few days later, he was appointed president of the Punjab Congress once more within the run-up to the polls. A broadly travelled individual, Singh has penned a number of books together with his memoirs of the 1965 Indo-Pak battle.
ALSO READ | Captain Amarinder Singh quits as Chief Minister. What subsequent for Punjab Congress?
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