Captain Amarinder Singh, a prominent figure in Punjab politics, is an elected member of the Legislative Assembly, Patiala. He had served in the Indian Army as a commissioned officer. He was the 26th Chief Minister of Punjab (from March 2017 to September 2021). Before this, he had held Punjab’s chief ministerial portfolio from 2002 to 2007.
Family History and Formal Education
Mr Singh (fondly called Captain) is the son of the Phulkian dynasty’s Maharaja Sir Yadavindra Singh and Maharani Mohinder Kaur of the princely state of Patiala. Before enrolling at The Doon School in Dehradun, he studied at the Loreto Convent, Tara Hall, Shimla, and Lawrence School, Sanawar. He has a son and a daughter.
From 2009 to October 2012, his wife, Preneet Kaur, was a Member of Parliament and held a Minister of State portfolio in the Ministry of External Affairs. Heminder Kaur, his elder sister, is married to K. Natwar Singh, a former Foreign Minister (IFS). Amarinder Singh is also connected to former IPS officer and Shiromani Akali Dal (A) supremo Simranjit Singh Mann. Mann’s wife and Amarinder Singh’s wife are sisters.
After passing out from the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy, Mr Singh served in various positions in the Indian Army from June 1963 to December 1966. He was in the Sikh Regiment.
Amarinder Singh left the military services in 1965 to look after his family. However, he was re-commissioned in the wake of the Indo-Pak war in 1965. He actively participated in the war. His ancestors (father and grandfather) have also served in the army.
Rajiv Gandhi, a friend from the Doon school who was freshly elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980, introduced him into the Congress party. As a protest against the Army’s actions during the Operation Blue Star, Mr Singh resigned from Parliament and Congress in 1984.
- During the period 2014-2016, he was a member of the Standing Committee on Defence and a member of Ministry of Defence’s Consultative Committee.
- Also, Mr Singh has been elected to the Punjab assembly for five terms.
- He was elected as the President of Punjab Congress in 2015.
- On November 23, 2016, he resigned from Lok Sabha and committed himself entirely to Punjab Assembly Elections.
- In the 2017 Assembly Elections, Congress secured an absolute majority and Capt. Amarinder Singh was elected as the leader of the party. Subsequently, he was sworn in as Punjab’s 26th Chief Minister.
- On September 18, 2021, Amarinder Singh resigned as Punjab’s Chief Minister.
- Captain Amarinder Singh recently formed a new party, named Punjab Lok Congress, on 2nd November 2021. In the upcoming elections, the party will contest in all 117 assembly constituencies.
Amarinder Singh is also an accomplished litterateur who has written a lot of books. He is the author of several books about war and Sikh history. Author Khushwant Singh has also written a biography on Amarinder Singh titled ‘Captain Amarinder Singh: The People’s Maharaja’.