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  India   Politics  15 Jan 2017  Amarinder Singh: Comeback man

Amarinder Singh: Comeback man

Published : Jan 15, 2017, 7:36 am IST
Updated : Jan 15, 2017, 7:39 am IST

Singh had been Punjab chief minister from 2002 to 2007.

Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh. (Photo: PTI)
 Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh. (Photo: PTI)

Captain Amarinder Singh belongs to the royal family of Patiala. He prefers to be called “Captain” as he has served in the Indian Army.

Mr Singh entered politics after his school friend and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi inducted him into the Congress in 1980.

In 1984, Mr Singh resigned from Parliament and the Congress party in protest against Operation Blue Star — the Army action at Golden Temple in Amritsar, ordered by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, to neutralise militant religious leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed followers.

Later, Mr Singh joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and got elected to the state Assembly. He cut ties with SAD in 1992 and formed a splinter group, SAD (Panthic). The group merged with the Congress in 1998 when Sonia Gandhi took over as Congress president. Mr Singh served as Punjab Congress president from 1999 to 2002, and 2010 to 2013. He was again elected Punjab Congress president in 2016. The Congress is again trying to win in the poll-bound state under his leadership.

Mr Singh had been Punjab chief minister from 2002 to 2007. One of the tallest leaders of Punjab, Mr Singh defeated Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union finance minister Arun Jaitley from Amritsar parliamentary seat in the 2014 general elections. Mr Singh achieved this feat despite facing a massive Narendra Modi “wave” and the Congress getting wiped out across India.

Mr Singh is also a writer of some repute — he has authored books on war and Sikh history. The Congress is banking heavily on him to win in Punjab after a string of defeat.

Tags: amarinder singh, jarnail singh, golden temple
Location: India, Punjab