Patiala: Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain (retired) Amarinder Singh, who recently floated his new party Punjab Lok Congress, on Sunday announced that he will contest the Punjab Assembly Election 2022 from his home turf Patiala Urban. Known as Maharaja of Patiala, the former Chief Minister said he will not leave his family’s home of 300 years and will seek votes on the achievements of his previous government in the state and accomplishments of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in the Centre.Also Read - Punjab Polls 2022: Bhagwant Mann, AAP's CM Candidate Challenges CM Channi to Contest Against Him From Dhuri
“Will contest from Patiala, won’t leave my family’s home of 300 years. Will seek votes on my own government’s achievements and Narendra Modi’s government’s accomplishments at Centre,” said Amarinder Singh in a statement tweeted from the account of his media advisor Raveen Thukral. Also Read - Punjab Election 2022: Complete List of AAP Candidates, Check Names HERE
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Amarinder Singh, whose father was the last king of the princely estate of Patiala, is fighting the battle for his political survival. Brought into politics by his childhood friend and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Amarinder Singh rebelled against Congres and floated his oun political outfit ‘Punjab Lok Congress’ after he was made to resign as the chief minister of Punjab by the party high command. Now, he is contesting the Punjab assembly polls in alliance with ormer arch rivals BJP and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa’s Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt).
Amarinder Singh has been winning from his home bestion Patiala from 2002. He had resigned from the seat in 2014 after being elected to the Lok Sabha. However, in 2017, he again contested from the seat and won and ensured that the Congress formed government in Punjab.
However, Patiala was not considered just Amarinder Singh home turf, it is Congress’ stronghold also. Since 2002, the former Chief Minister won from the seat on Congress’ ticket. Senior Congress leader Madan Lal Jalalpur, a sitting MLA from Ghanaur seats claims Captain faction will not make much impact in Patiala. He said barring a few workers, not many will support Captain, according to a statment goven to the Tribune.
“Captain’s disconnect with workers is the prime reason. Usually in all constituencies, workers got their works done through the local MLA,” he said, adding the institution is always bigger than an individual and “Capt Amarinder will realise this in the upcoming polls”.
Capt Amarinder Singh had once before quit Congress in 1984, during Operation Blue Star. He joined the Shiromani Akali Dal and became a minister after SAD formed the government in Punjab. However, things didn’t go very well in SAD for long, and in 1992, Singh quit the party to formed his political outfit.
He contested the 1998, assembly election in Punjab under the banner of his own outfit and suffered humiliating losses where he even lost his security deposit from his own turf. Later, he merged his party with the Congress, and went on to become Punjab Chief Minister in 2002.
Battle Ground Punjab
Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday announced the Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) candidates from 22 constituencies for the February 20 polls to the state Assembly. Addressing a press conference, Singh said that out of the 22 candidates, two candidates are from the Majha, three from the Doaba and 17 are from the Malwa region of Punjab. “The second list is likely to be released in two days,” Singh said.
The PLC currently has 37 of the 117 seats in Punjab as a part of its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and SAD (Sanyukt). Discussions on the possibility of another five seats for the party are in progress. Of the 37 seats, the PLC has got the maximum of 26 are from the Malwa region.
According to report, Amarinder Singh had single-handedly transformed this region into a game-changer for the Congress in the 2007 polls with his ground-breaking Water Termination Act of 2004 as well as the introduction of BT cotton.
Punjab will go to the polls on February 14 and the counting of votes will take place on March 10.