Captain (Retd.)
Amarinder Singh
Singh in 2017
15th Chief Minister of Punjab
In office
16 March 2017 – 19 September 2021
GovernorV. P. Singh Badnore
Banwarilal Purohit
Preceded byParkash Singh Badal
Succeeded byCharanjit Singh Channi
In office
26 February 2002 – 1 March 2007
GovernorJ. F. R. Jacob
O. P. Verma
Akhlaqur Rahman Kidwai (additional charge)
Sunith Francis Rodrigues
DeputyRajinder Kaur Bhattal (from 6 January 2004)
Preceded byParkash Singh Badal
Succeeded byParkash Singh Badal
Additional ministries
In office
16 March 2017 – 18 September 2021
Ministries and DepartmentsMinister of Administrative Reforms, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Horticulture,Conservation of Land and Water, Excise & Taxation, General Administration, Home Affairs & Justice, Legal & Legislative Affairs, Vigilance, Personnel, Civil Aviation, Defence Services Welfare, Hospitality, Investment Promotion, Information & Public Relations, Environment, Wildlife, NRI Affairs
Government of Punjab, India
Preceded byParkash Singh Badal
Succeeded byCharanjit Singh Channi
Member of the Legislative Assembly, Punjab 
In office
11 March 2017 – 15 March 2022
Preceded byPreneet Kaur
Succeeded byAjit Pal Singh Kohli
ConstituencyPatiala
In office
2002–2014
Preceded bySurjit Singh Kohli
Succeeded byPreneet Kaur
ConstituencyPatiala Town
In office
1992–1997
Preceded byHardial Singh Rajla
Succeeded byJagtar Singh Rajla
ConstituencySamana
In office
1985–1992
Preceded byAvtar Singh
Succeeded byHarminder Singh
ConstituencyTalwandi Sabo
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
26 May 2014 – 23 November 2016
Preceded byNavjot Singh Sidhu
Succeeded byGurjit Singh Aujla
ConstituencyAmritsar
In office
1980–1984
Preceded byGurcharan Singh Tohra
Succeeded byCharanjit Singh Walia
ConstituencyPatiala
Personal details
Born (1942-03-11) 11 March 1942 (age 82)
Patiala, Patiala State, Punjab States Agency, British India
(present-day Punjab, India)
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
Other political
affiliations
Spouse
(m. 1964)
Children2, including Raninder Singh
Parents
WebsiteOfficial website
Military service
Allegiance India
Branch/service Indian Army
Years of service1963–1966
Rank Captain
UnitSikh Regiment
Battles/warsIndo-Pakistani War of 1965
Pretender information
Title(s)Maharaja of Patiala
Throne(s) claimedPatiala
Pretend from17 June 1974–present
Monarchy abolishedSovereign monarchy
1947 (Instrument of Accession)
Titular monarchy
1971 (26th Amendment of the Indian Constitution)
PredecessorYadavindra Singh
SignatureAmarinder Singh's signature

Captain Amarinder Singh (born 11 March 1942),[1] is an Indian politician, military historian, former royal and Indian Army veteran who served as the 15th Chief Minister of Punjab.[2] A former Member of the Legislative Assembly, Punjab and Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha,[3] he was also the president of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.[4] He has also previously served as the Chief Minister of Punjab from 2002 to 2007 and 2017 to 2021.[5] His father was the last Maharaja of the princely state of Patiala.[5] He has also served in the Indian Army from 1963 to 1966.[6] In 1980, he won a seat in the Lok Sabha for the first time.[5] As of November 2022, Singh also serves as the chairman of the Punjab Urdu Academy.[7] Captain Singh resigned as the Chief Minister of Punjab on 18 September 2021.[8] On 19 September 2022 he merged his party PLC with BJP and joined BJP on the same day.[9]

Personal life

Singh was born on 11 March 1942 in Patiala City, Patiala State, Punjab Province, British India into a royal Punjabi Jat Sikh family of the Sidhu clan to parents Maharaja Sir Yadavindra Singh and Maharani Mohinder Kaur of Patiala. Amarinder Singh's family belongs to the Phulkian dynasty.[10] He attended the Loreto Convent in Shimla, and Lawrence School in Kasauli, Solan District, before going to The Doon School in Dehradun.[10][11] He has one son, Raninder Singh, and one daughter, Jai Inder Kaur.[10] His wife, Preneet Kaur, served as an Member of Parliament and was Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs from 2009 to October 2012.[12]

His elder sister Heminder Kaur is married to former Foreign Minister K. Natwar Singh.[13] He is also related to Shiromani Akali Dal (A) supremo and former IPS Officer Simranjit Singh Mann. Mann's wife and Amarinder Singh's wife, Preneet Kaur, are sisters.[14]

Army career

Singh served in the Indian Army from June 1963 to December 1966 after graduating from the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy.[15] He was commissioned into the Sikh Regiment.[16] He served as the aide-de-camp to the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Command, Lieutenant General Harbaksh Singh, from December 1964.[17] He left the army in early 1965 to look after his family but returned to service with the start of the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War.[18]

His father and grandfather were also in army and many times he said that "Army will always be my first love".

Political career

He was inducted into the Congress by Rajiv Gandhi, who was his friend from school and was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980. In 1984, he resigned from Parliament and from Congress as a protest against the Army action during Operation Blue Star. Subsequently, he joined the Shiromani Akali Dal was elected to the state legislature from Talwandi Sabo and became a minister in the state government for Agriculture, Forest, Development and Panchayats.

In 1992 he broke away from the Akali Dal and formed a splinter group named Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthic) which later merged with the Congress in 1998 (after his party's crushing defeat in Vidhan Sabha election in which he himself was defeated from his own constituency where he got only 856 votes) after Sonia Gandhi took over the reins of the party. He was defeated by Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra from Patiala Constituency in 1998 by a margin of 33,251 votes. He served as the President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee on three occasions from 1999 to 2002, 2010 to 2013 and 2015 to 2017.

He has been a member of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha for five terms representing Patiala (Urban) thrice, Samana and Talwandi Sabo once each.

Chief Minister of Punjab, First term

He became Chief Minister of Punjab in 2002 and continued until 2007.

In September 2008, a special committee of Punjab Vidhan Sabha, during the tenure of a government led by Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party, expelled him on the count of regularities in the transfer of land related to the Amritsar Improvement Trust.[19] In 2010, the Supreme Court of India held his expulsion unconstitutional on the grounds that it was excessive and unconstitutional.[19]

He was appointed as chairman of Punjab Congress Campaign Committee in 2008. Captain Amarinder Singh is also a Permanent Invitee to the Congress Working Committee since 2013.

Member of Parliament

He defeated senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley by a margin of 102,770 votes in 2014 general elections from Amritsar seat.[20]

On 27 November 2015, Amarinder Singh was appointed President of Punjab Congress in the run up to Punjab elections slated for 2017.[21]

Chief Minister of Punjab, second term

Main article: Second Amarinder Singh ministry

On 11 March 2017 Congress Party won the 2017 Punjab Legislative Assembly election under his leadership. Amarinder Singh was sworn in as the 26th Chief Minister of Punjab on 16 March 2017 at Punjab Raj Bhavan, Chandigarh. The oath of office was administered by the Punjab governor, V.P. Singh Badnore.[2][22] He was appointed president of the Jat Mahasabha in 2013.[23]

During his tenure as chief minister, he came into conflict with a faction of the Congress headed by Navjot Singh Sidhu, and was criticised for being inaccessible to Congress MLAs, living in a farmhouse on the outskirts of Chandigarh instead of coming to the civil secretariat building. He also received criticism for not resolving the Bargari sacrilege case and for a perception that he had been insufficiently zealous in prosecuting previous CM Parkash Singh Badal for involvement in the case.[24]

On 18 September 2021, he resigned as the Chief Minister of Punjab, as a consequence of conversations with the Congress high command that suggested the Punjab Congress MLAs were lacking confidence in his leadership.[25] Singh publicly blamed Sidhu for the internal tension that led to the resignation, calling him "dangerous", "incompetent", and a "total disaster" and that he would fight any attempt to name Sidhu as the next CM of Punjab.[26] Singh was eventually succeeded by Charanjit Singh Channi as the new chief minister.[27]

Singh left the Congress Party, and on 28 October 2021, announced that he would be floating a new party soon and that he would be allying with the Bharatiya Janata Party.[28]

Punjab Lok Congress

Punjab Lok Congress (PLC; English: Punjab People's Congress) is an Indian regional political party, in Punjab founded by Singh on 2 November 2021 after he resigned as Chief Minister of Punjab and quit the Indian National Congress.[29] The party was formed following a split in Indian National Congress in Punjab. Singh has announced that his party will contest on all 117 seats in 2022 Punjab Legislative Assembly election.[30] The party failed to win any seat in the elections.[31]

2022 Punjab Assembly election

In 2022 Punjab Legislative Assembly election, Singh lost from the Patiala Assembly constituency to Aam Aadmi Party's Ajit Pal Singh Kohli.[32] Singh's party PLC lost election deposit in all but one of the 28 seats it had contested with garnering 0.54% of the total votes polled.[33]

Bharatiya Janata Party

A few months after his election failure Singh along with his party merged into the Bharatiya Janata Party on 19 September 2022 after meeting with HM Amit Shah a few days before.[31]

Books

He has also written books on war and Sikh history which include A Ridge Too Far, Lest We Forget, The Last Sunset: Rise and Fall of Lahore Durbar and The Sikhs in Britain: 150 years of Photographs. Among his most recent works are Honour and Fidelity: India's Military Contribution to the Great War 1914 to 1918 released in Chandigarh on 6 December 2014, and The Monsoon War: Young Officers Reminisce – 1965 India-Pakistan War- which contains his memoirs of the 1965 Indo-Pak war.[34][35]

Awards and recognition

The author Khushwant Singh released a biographic book titled, Captain Amarinder Singh: The People’s Maharaja in 2017.[36]

References

  1. ^ Quint, The (10 March 2017). "Punjab Live: Modi Congratulates Amarinder, Wishes Him Happy B'Day". The Quint. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Amarinder Singh sworn in as Punjab CM". The Hindu. The Hindu. 16 March 2017. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  3. ^ Goswami, Dev. "Punjab election results 2017: Full list of winners". indiatoday.intoday.in. Living Media India Limited. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Congress in States – Punjab". inc.in. All India Congress Committee. Archived from the original on 16 March 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Who is Capt Amarinder Singh? Everything you need to know". The Indian Express. Express Web Desk. 16 March 2017. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Captain Amarinder back in charge in Punjab for second time". The New Indian Express. PTI. 16 March 2017. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Punjab Urdu Academy". www.punjaburduacademy.com. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  8. ^ ""Humiliated" Amarinder Singh Quits As Chief Minister, Says Options Open". NDTV.com. Archived from the original on 18 September 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  9. ^ Sanjeev Verma (16 September 2022). "Former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh to merge his PLC with BJP on September 19 | Chandigarh News - Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 23 September 2023. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  10. ^ a b c Singh, Khushwant (15 February 2017). Captain Amarinder Singh: The People's Maharaja: An Authorized Biography. Hay House, Inc. ISBN 978-93-85827-44-0.
  11. ^ "Seven Doscos in 15th Lok Sabha". The Indian Express. 31 May 2009. Archived from the original on 3 June 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  12. ^ "Members : Lok Sabha". loksabhaph.nic.in. Archived from the original on 27 October 2020. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  13. ^ Nibber, Gurpreet Singh (24 July 2017). "Obituary | A sister, a guardian, the royal mother: Rajmata of Patiala is no more". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  14. ^ Sethi, Chitleen K. (1 January 2017). "Pushed to the margins, Simranjit Mann carrying legacy of a lost cause". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 22 August 2019. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Profile – Amarinder Singh". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Army's account of 1965 war padded, says Capt's new book". Hindustan Times. 18 September 2015. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  17. ^ "But for Gen Harbakhsh, Punjab would've been lost in 1965 war: Capt". Hindustan Times. 30 August 2015. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Amarinder Singh Welcomes Honour To Officer Who Tied Protester To Jeep". NDTV.com. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  19. ^ a b Dhananjay Mahapatra, Dhananjay (27 April 2010). "'Amarinder's removal undemocratic'". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012.
  20. ^ "Election Commission of India, General Elections, 2014 (16th LOK SABHA ) 4 - LIST OF SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES". Vol. List of Successful Candidates.pdf. Election Commission of India. p. 15. Archived from the original on 2 March 2024. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Amarinder appointed Captain of Punjab Congress". Daily Post India. 27 November 2015. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015.
  22. ^ Mallick, Abhilash (17 March 2017). "Captain Amarinder Sworn in as Punjab CM, Nine Ministers Inducted". The Quint. Archived from the original on 16 March 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  23. ^ "Capt Amarinder Singh is Jat mahasabha chief". Hindustan Times. Press Trust of India (PTI). 13 May 2013. Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Explained: Five reasons why Captain Amarinder Singh had to step down as Punjab CM". The Indian Express. 18 September 2021. Archived from the original on 9 March 2022. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  25. ^ "'I felt humiliated': Amarinder Singh resigns as Punjab chief minister". Hindustan Times. 18 September 2021. Archived from the original on 18 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  26. ^ ANI (19 September 2021). "Navjot Singh Sidhu a total disaster, says Amarinder Singh after ouster". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 9 March 2022. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  27. ^ "Charanjit Singh Channi: Who is Charanjit Singh Channi, the new Punjab chief minister". The Times of India. 19 September 2021. Archived from the original on 5 May 2022. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  28. ^ "Captain hints at seat-sharing pact with BJP, backs Centre on BSF order". The Indian Express. 28 October 2021. Archived from the original on 8 December 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  29. ^ "Amarinder Singh resigns from Congress; announces new party Punjab Lok Congress". The Hindu. 3 November 2021. Archived from the original on 2 November 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  30. ^ ANI (28 October 2021). "Amarinder announces his party will contest all 117 Punjab assembly seats". Business Standard India. Archived from the original on 2 November 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  31. ^ a b Vasudeva, Vikas (16 September 2022). "Former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh to join BJP on September 19". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 16 September 2022. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  32. ^ "Punjab election results 2022: Captain Amarinder Singh accepts defeat, congratulates AAP on victory". The Times of India. 10 March 2022. Archived from the original on 10 March 2022. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  33. ^ "Election Commission of India, State Election,2022 to the legislative assembly of Punjab PERFORMANCE OF POLITICAL PARTIES". Vol. Performance of Political Parties.pdf. Election Commission of India. p. 2. Archived from the original on 3 March 2024. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  34. ^ "Book Review: The Monsoon War: Young Officers Reminisce – 1965 India-Pakistan War". 24 October 2015. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  35. ^ PTI (21 September 2015). "Amarinder Singh pens book on 1965 Indo-Pak war". Archived from the original on 1 August 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  36. ^ Ratra, Vaibhav (22 May 2017). "People's Maharaja". The Pioneer. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
Lok Sabha Preceded byGurcharan Singh Tohra Member of Parliamentfor Patiala 1980–1984 Succeeded bySardar Charanjit Singh Walia Preceded byNavjot Singh Sidhu Member of Parliamentfor Amritsar 2014–2017 Succeeded byGurjeet Singh Aujla Political offices Preceded byParkash Singh Badal Chief Minister of Punjab 26 February 2002 – 1 March 2007 Succeeded byParkash Singh Badal Preceded byParkash Singh Badal Chief Minister of Punjab 16 March 2017 – 18 September 2021 Succeeded byCharanjit Singh Channi State Legislative Assembly Preceded byPreneet Kaur (INC) Member of the Punjab Legislative Assembly from Patiala Assembly constituency 20172022 Succeeded byAjit Pal Singh Kohli (AAP)