At a time when the Congress was routed elsewhere, Amarinder Singh put up an impressive show in the Punjab Assembly elections earlier this year, leading his party to victory in 77 of the total 117 seats.
On Friday, Singh, who was sworn in for his second term as Chief Minister on March 16, will be the guest at the Express Adda in New Delhi. Express Adda is a series of informal interactions organised by The Indian Express Group and features those at the centre of change.
A scion of the erstwhile Patiala royal family, Singh served in the Indian Army from 1963 to 1966. He was inducted into the Congress by late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was his schoolmate.
He first won the Lok Sabha polls in 1980. But after Operation Blue Star, he resigned from Parliament to protest against the action. His official biography recounts how Rajiv Gandhi tried to persuade him not to resign, but he did not change his mind.
In 1986, he also resigned from late Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala’s cabinet to protest against Operation Black Thunder at the Golden Temple complex.
Singh, also a military historian, has authored several books on war and Sikh history — A Ridge Too Far, Lest We Forget, The Last Sunset: Rise and Fall of Lahore Durbar. Among his most recent works are Honour and Fidelity: India’s Military Contribution to the Great War 1914 to 1918, The Monsoon War: Young Officers Reminisce – 1965 India-Pakistan War, which contains his memoirs of the 1965 India-Pakistan war, and Saragarhi and the Defence of the Samana forts: The 36th Sikhs in the Tirah Campaign 1897-98.
At the Express Adda, Singh will be in conversation with The Indian Express’s National Opinion Editor Vandita Mishra.
Guests at the event in the past include the Dalai Lama, economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, filmmaker Karan Johar, Union Minister Piyush Goyal, Niti Aayog Vice Chairperson Arvind Panagariya, writer Amitav Ghosh and cricketer Virat Kohli.