Amarinder Singh's wife to contest from Patiala

Capt Amarinder Singh

Having lost her safe seat on home turf to a political greenhorn in 2014, former union minister Preneet Kaur, who is the wife of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, will lock horns again with her last conqueror in Patiala.

Her candidature was cleared during the meeting of Congress Working Committee in New Delhi late on Tuesday along with six others. Preneet Kaur has won the Patiala Lok Sabha seat consecutively three times, until 2014 when her victory chariot was halted by a cardiologist, Dr Dharamvir Gandhi, who had contested for the first time on the ticket of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Preneet Kaur tasted defeat by a margin of 20,942 votes. Her loss could not have been solely attributed to the ‘Modi wave’ five year ago, given that she was defeated not by the BJP candidate but by a rookie AAP contender.

Preneet resides in her palace in Patiala along with Captain Amarinder Singh. She foresees a groundswell for her party in Punjab. Regaining lost turf will be no less than a battle of prestige for her and her husband. Her well-wishers address her as ‘Maharani’ given the family’s royal lineage.

Dharamvir is not with the AAP anymore and is contesting as part of the newly formed People Democratic Alliance. Both leaders have a deep connect at the grassroot level. But Gandhi may find it difficult this time given that AAP groundswell five year ago that brought Gandhi and three other AAP MPs to victory is now missing.

Contestants from other seats

The Congress has announced that former union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal would contest from Chandigarh. Four-time MP, Bansal was a Railway minister in Manmohan’s cabinet.

Another former union minister in Manmohan Singh’s cabinet, Manish Tiwari, who opted out of the previous Lok Sabha elections from Ludhiana citing health reasons, is likely to contest from Anandpur Sahib. Congress state chief Sunil Jakhar will be contesting from border town Gurdaspur.

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