Politics

Patiala Brings Captain Down a Peg: How Amarinder Lost Home Advantage After Fallout With Congress

The very first thing that strikes you once you attain the Moti Bagh Palace, the Captain’s royal abode in Patiala, is the vacancy. The palace noticed posses of police when Amarinder Singh was Punjab’s chief minister. Huge barricades made the mansion inaccessible and nearly your entire lane main as much as it was cordoned off. All that has modified. It’s simple to succeed in the palace now and solely two policemen have been guarding it.

The royal residence will not be the one change the Captain’s bastion is witnessing. As News18.com roamed by way of the streets of town that has a mixture of city and rural voters, it grew to become evident that the former CM was going through robust instances. The Qila Road teems with retailers promoting the Patiala trademark phulkari work and jootis. Wrapping up his wares, Hardeep Singh tells News18.com, “For almost four years, Captain did no work for Patiala. Yet we kept voting for him. There are sentimental reasons. But now that he has left the Congress, it makes no sense to vote for him. Of what use can he be to us?”

ALSO READ | Punjab Polls Precursor in Patiala: Amarinder Singh, CM Channi Fight Proxy Wars

Jaspreet Singh agrees. “I think the Captain made a mistake. He should have stayed with the Congress. I don’t think many will vote for him here. Sidhu has an advantage. He is from here and he is raising the right issues and also no one can accuse him of corruption. Have you ever seen AAP, or the Akalis accusing him of corruption?”

It’s clear that the Congress desires to make use of this anger or opinion to vote Amarinder out. The solely apprehension within the occasion is whether or not the Captain, using excessive on the repeal of the farm legal guidelines, would injury it. The Punjab polls are now not a straight combat. The Akalis usually are not fully down and out. The Bharatiya Janata Party might not be a massive contender however has recovered some floor in city areas. The Aam Aadmi Party is inching ahead and hopes to win. The Congress could also be divided however nonetheless affords a safer guess for a lot of. Not a lot of persons are enamoured by CM Charanjit Singh Channi as they really feel he’s simply a rubber stamp. The presence of 4 secretaries incharge from Delhi within the state has added to this notion. The feeling in Patiala is that the chief minister has little say. “He is a good man but weak,” says Jaspreet Singh. “We sardars like our leaders to be strong. This is what worked for Captain saab. This is something that could work for Sidhuji. He takes on his own CM and party for his agenda.”

ALSO READ | Poll Pulse: Farm Laws Became An Issue of Sikh Identity in Punjab, Discomfort Had Spread to West UP

It’s not been a good opening innings for the Captain in Patiala. First, his spouse who’s the MP from right here has been served a disciplinary discover by the Congress and chances are high she might finally stop. And Amarinder Singh needed to face an embarrassing second when he was stopped from getting into the Nigam Parishad workplace to specific help for his mayor. For some, this looks like a gown rehearsal for the times forward.

Patiala has given the well-known Patiala peg its title. History says the big peg of whiskey was created by the-then Maharaja Bhupinder Singh to make sure a hungover British misplaced a cricket match. It labored. Since then, Patiala has additionally turn into synonymous with shrewd politics of survival. The final time the Captain floated his Akali Panthic occasion after the Blue Star episode, he misplaced his deposit. This time the battle might be equally laborious. And the Patiala peg might have a refill.

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