History Shows Resignations Made Amarinder Singh Stronger. Will Capt Rise Like a Phoenix from Ashes?

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Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh resigned on Saturday following an internal rift in the party that went on for months. Amarinder Singh said that he felt “humiliated” and said he won’t accept state Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu as the next CM or the party face in the Assembly polls.

However, stepping down from the CM’s chair isn’t the first setback that Captain Amarinder Singh has seen during his career. It was the third resignation yesterday. But, the past two resignations show that Captain has emerged more powerful after his setbacks. The former Chief Minister knows how to play his cards and has been known to never play politics on the side-lines.

First Resignation

Amarinder Singh first became an MP in 1980 and had joined the negotiations to sort out the Punjab issue. However, Operation Blue Star happened and Singh resigned from the party as well as the Parliament despite being close friend to the Gandhis.

The move went on to work in favor of Gandhi, who remained dominant in Punjab Congress affairs for two decades. He was a tall leader in the state unit of the party.

Second Resignation

Amarinder Singh switched to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and also became minister in Surjit Singh Barnala’s government in 1985. He resigned from the cabinet seven months later when police entered Darbar Sahib on Barnala’s orders. The move also led Amarinder to emerge as a Sikh leader. The move worked for Amarinder and helped him get to the CM’s chair later in 2017.

Sikh Factor

The operation blue star in 1984 and Bargari sacrilege a year turned tides against the Congress and SAD respectively, but it was Captain Amarinder Singh, who emerged as a tall leader after making exits in after these two incidents.

Reports suggest that it was only due to Amarinder’s acceptance among the Sikhs that helped revive Congress in Punjab since 1999. The party had become untouchable for the Sikhs, a fact which was evident in the 1996 and 1998 general elections and 1997 assembly elections. But Amarinder became the factor for Congress’ revival in Punjab.

Brought Congress Back in Power

Though the party lost 2007 and 2012 assembly elections under Captain’s command, he didn’t lost his charisma.

In 2014, during the Lok Sabha elections, he contested elections against BJP top leader Arun Jaitley from Amritsar. Though Congress suffered defeat with lowest tally, Amarinder Singh won the election and also managed to take over the party state presidentship from Partap Singh Bajwa.

In the 2017 assembly elections, the ruling Akali Dal had fallen to the third spot. Congress won a majority, with most of the seats coming from Sikh dominated rural areas.

History showed that every time he resigned, Amarinder emerged as victorious after the brief setback. Whenever, his party Congress weakened, Amarinder grew stronger at the same time.

After his resignation, Amarinder indicated that he is not leaving the pitch. “I have just resigned today, but options are always there in politics. Options are limitless and we will see forward what will happen. I have my colleagues over my 52-year-long term in politics. I will discuss with my colleagues both in parliament, assembly and the party,” he said giving out mixed signals to the Congress.

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