Punjab Assembly Polls: Captain of Congress and General of Shiromani Akali Dal toil & moil for victory
A bunch of trusted foot soldiers are working overtime to ensure victory of Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh and his political opponent and SAD candidates Gen J J Singh (Retd) in the polls to this prestigious Assembly seat.
Amarinder’s MLA-wife Preneet Kaur is leading the campaign in Patiala along with her daughter Jaya Inder Kaur and grand daughter Seher Inder Kaur, besides other trusted lieutenants.
Her son Raninder Singh is camping in Lambi, the constituency his father is contesting against Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Gen JJ Singh (Retd) is moving out in the poll field with his wife Anupama Kaur, fashion designer-daughter Urvashi, and son Vivek Pal Singh, who is a councillor in Normandy in France, and his loyal band of soldiers from Marathas.
A few retired soldiers who served with him are also campaigning for their former boss.
Among the soldiers donning batches earned by them during their service are Hawaldar M G Shethi, Naik Gyan Dev and Naik Sada Shiv Jagtap, all retired who once worked under J J Singh during his service as an officer.
“If our Saab (Gen J J Singh) decides to contest from Kolhapur in Maharashtra there will be no opposition,” Says Shethi.
“I came to know that my Saab is fighting poll battle from Patiala through news and immediately along with other Marathas dashed to this place,” they say, adding “we will ensure our saab wins”.
“I am loved by soldiers and retired Army personnel,” Gen Singh says, adding even during his tenure as Arunachal Pradesh Governor he was famous as “people’s governor”.
The trusted foot soldiers are acting as force multipliers for campaigns of J J Singh and Amarinder.
Sitting local MLA, the Patiala Royal Preneet Kaur starts her day early and ends late. She is holding fort for her husband Capt Amarinder Singh, first at their Moti Bagh palace she meets the public till 10.30 AM and after that moves out for campaign.
She is accompanied by her granddaughter 21-year-old Seher Inder Kaur who has recently completed her American High School diploma from Kodaikanal International School in Tamil Nadu.
Preneet Kaur, an old horse in the field, praises her granddaughter.
“I never thought that she will campaign so passionately for her dadaji (Grandfather) and she knows the issues which are affecting the state– from drug menace to unemployment, farmers in debt circle and so forth,” she says.
Seher Inder Kaur keeps shuttling between her grandmother Preneet and aunt Jaya Inder Kaur.
“This is the first time I am campaigning for my granddad in these elections and people believe in him,” she says, adding the “youth are with him (Amarinder) as he can bond well with them”.
“Unemployment is a big issue here, besides the drugs meance and to get jobs and finish this menace I tell youth to vote for him,” She says.
While the retired army chief moves out with his trusted soldiers, his wife Anupama Kaur travels on her own trying to convince the electorate to vote for her husband.
“I, being wife of an army officer, had conversed with ladies belonging to all sections of the society and know the problem of the man on the street.”
“It is a totally new experience,” she says and adds that she loves to serve the people and being a Punjabi here see feels connected to her roots.
Campaigning for his father, Vivek Pal Singh who is visiting different places in the city says the politics here and in France is totally different as there is not so much disparity in income and education levels there unlike here.
“I am municipal councillor there and campaigning there is very easy as the people connect their easily,” he said.