A victorious Amarinder Singh tonight received grand welcome in his constituency Patiala Urban by jubilant supporters amid drums beats and victory slogans. Amarinder went on to score an astounding win with the highest ever margin, while his SAD rival General J J Singh even failed to save his security deposit, clearly underlining the huge popularity of the Punjab Congress chief in his hometown. It was an emotional homecoming for Amarinder, who said he was overwhelmed by the love and support of the Patialvis.
Flanked by his wife Preneet Kaur, daughter Jai Inder Kaur, brothers Raja Malwinder Singh and Raja Randhir Singh, Amarinder visited the gurdwara and temple at Burj Baba Ala Singh at the historic Qila Mubarak, from where he had started his poll campaign earlier. After paying his respects at the Samadhi of Baba Ala Singh, he left for his Moti Mahal palace, which was thronged by huge crowds waiting to celebrate his 75th birthday and his victory in the assembly polls. The palace had been decked up for the double celebration, which Amarinder described as the most memorable event in his life.
At 75, the scion of the Patiala royalty has become the longest living member of his family. Jubilant party workers and supporters could be seen celebrating with sweets and revelry all around the palace, which seemed to stand out as an illuminated landmark on Patiala’s cityscape. The whole atmosphere was one of an unending party, with smiling faces, blooming flowers and garlands greeting Amarinder at every corner.
Talking to mediapersons at the palace, Amarinder promised to fast-track the development of Patiala, which he alleged had been given a “stepmotherly treatment” by the Badal-led SAD-BJP regime. He reiterated his commitment to making good every single pre-poll promise and assured the people of Patiala that despite the chief ministerial pressures of governing the state, he would take personal interest in ensuring that their problems are resolved at the earliest.
Winning 77 of the 117 state assembly seats, the Amarinder Singh led Congress today stormed to power in Punjab riding a strong anti-incumbency wave against the ruling SAD-BJP combine and warding off a spirited challenge by newcomer AAP. The party put up its second best performance in the state. In the 1992 state elections, it had won 87 seats. With 77 MLAs it now just one seat short of a two third majority.