Amarinder's aunt ready to take on Preneet Kaur in LS elections



Patiala: The fight for the Patiala Lok Sabha seat may turn out to be a political family saga, with the aunt of former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh and senior SAD leader Biba Amarjeet Kaur ready to take on her nephew's wife and three-time MP Preneet Kaur.

Amarjeet Kaur believes that the sitting MP and Minister of State for External Affairs, Preneet stands little chance against her were the party to decide to throw its weight behind her.

"Yes, I am ready to be the candidate getting the SAD party ticket (for the Patiala LS seat)," Amarjeet Kaur said during an interaction with reporters at her residence at Moti Bagh Annexe, an address she incidentally shares with her nephew.

When told that many more Akali leaders were vying for the party ticket from Patiala, she said it was entirely the prerogative of SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal and president Sukhbir Singh Badal to choose the candidate.

"As far as I am concerned I will certainly stake my claim with the party high command; I consider myself the strongest candidate (for the Patiala seat)," she added.

An ex-Congress member, Amarjeet Kaur has been a Rajya Sabha MP for two consecutive terms from 1976 to 1988 and was fielded as a Lok Sabha candidate by her former party in 1985 in a contest she lost by a thin margin to SAD's Charanjeet Singh Walia.

She is the daughter of former chief minister of Patiala and East Punjab States Union, Late Col Ragbhir Singh, and was married to Kanwar Devinder Singh (son of the Maharaja of the erstwhile Patiala state, late Bhupinder Singh).

Considered a grassroots leader, Amarjeet Kaur was elected to municipal councils in the 70s and was also a nominated member of the Patiala improvement trust besides twice serving as the chairperson of Central Social Welfare Board twice between 1989 to 1994.

She had joined SAD in 2009 after her relations with Amarinder got strained.

Being senior to both Amarinder and Preneet Kaur, Amarjeet claims she had showed the two Congrees leaders the political ropes and was the one who persuaded the former chief minister to join Congress and helped him land a party ticket for the 1977 Lok Sabha elections, although he lost the race to Akali stalwart the late Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

PTI