March 9,1975 is etched deep in the memory of Paramjit Kaur. She was married on that day. But what she remembers more fondly is how her doli arrived from Lehragaga in a luxury car belonging to the family of Capt Amarinder Singh,who had not made his political debut yet.
A resident of Bharpur Garden right opposite Amarinders residence in New Moti Bagh Palace,Kaur is among the scores of people of the locality who feel a sense of pride in telling that they are voting for the chief ministerial candidate of Congress.
I am 100 per cent sure that Capt Amarinder Singh is coming to power in Punjab, asserts Kaur,revealling the old association of her family with the family of Maharaja and Maharani. My doli arrived from Lehragaga in the car belonging to the family of Capt Amarinder Singh. It was a Mercedes decorated with flowers, remembers Kaur,adding that her late father-in-law Pritam Singh was a tailor master in the Mahal and stitched the attires of Maharani (Preneet Kaur).
Had Capt Sahib (Amarinder Singh) stayed for another five years after his previous stint as chief minister (that ended in 2007),Patiala would have become second Chandigarh, says another resident of Bharpur Garden,Dr Vikas Garg,as he lists the development work carried out during the tenure of Amarinder Singh as CM from 2002 to 2007. People in the locality pray that he becomes CM again, adds Dr Garg.
We feel very secured in the locality. All because we are neighbours of Capt Amarinder Singh. We are proud of this fact. It will be good if he becomes the chief minister again this time, says Gurvinder Singh Sahni,who runs a property business.
There are,however,a few other neighbours of Amarinder who do not think it will be a cakewalk for him and the Congress to wrest power. It will be good if he (Amarinder) becomes chief minister again. And if Congress came to power,there is not an iota of doubt that he will be the CM. But after taking various factors into account,like Manpreet Badal emerging as a separate force,I think the road for Congress is not very easy. Even then,I would say Congress stands 60 per cent chance of making it, says Amrik Singh,a businessman.
As residents of Bharpur Garden wait anxiously for the polling day,a staunch Akali leader Niranjan Singh of Sainsarwal village,who claims to be a Block Samiti member after serving as sarpanch for many terms,is busy giving final touches to his 800 square yards house on the other side of the road,a few metres away from New Moti Bagh Palace. But he too did not have anything negative to say about Amarinder.
Though I am a staunch Akali,I am in good terms with both Capt Amarinder Singh and Brahm Mohindra (Congress MLA from Samana), says Niranjan,pointing towards Mohindras house on his right.