Amarinder Singh failed spectacularly in these assembly elections – his new party failed to open its account, his ally BJP fell flat and he failed to even win his own constituency.
But there might be some consolation for the former chief minister. The Congress, with which he had a bitter parting just months back, hasn’t done too well either in the state, swept by an Aam Aadmi Party wave.
The 2022 Punjab Assembly polls came as a fresh challenge for the two-time chief minister, who was unseated from his post last year following a bitter power tussle with state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
The 79-year-old leader said he was humiliated and warned of repercussions then.
Soon, he launched the Punjab Lok Congress, contesting the polls in alliance with the BJP, a party whose expansion in the state he had once stalled despite a Narendra Modi wave elsewhere in the Lok Sabha polls.
Once considered close to the Gandhi family, Amarinder Singh did not mince words while leaving the party, and called Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra "inexperienced".
At an election rally, Priyanka Gandhi hit back, saying he was hand-in-glove with the BJP when he was the CM. In the last Assembly polls, Amarinder Singh led the decimation of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). The Congress under him crushed the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) dream of expanding its footprint beyond Delhi.
He steered the Congress to a landslide victory in the Assembly polls to occupy the chief minister's post for the second time. But he could not complete his second term following a feud between him and Navjot Sidhu. Last September, he was driven to resign.
Once a leader of the Akali Dal, the son of the late Maharaja Yadavindra Singh of Patiala, Singh studied at Lawrence School, Sanawar; and Doon School in Dehradun, before joining the National Defence Academy in 1959.Commissioned into the Indian Army in 1963, he was posted in 2nd Bn. Sikh Regiment. Both his father and grandfather had served the battalion.
The political career of Singh, who was considered a close friend of Rajiv Gandhi, began in January 1980 when he was elected an MP. But he resigned from the Congress and the Lok Sabha in protest against the entry of the Army in Amritsar’s Golden Temple during Operation Blue Star in 1984.
Amarinder Singh was elected to the Punjab Assembly on an Akali Dal (Longowal) ticket 1995.
During his first term as chief minister, his government in 2004 passed the state law terminating Punjab's water sharing pact with neighbouring states.
Last year, during his second term as the state CM, a resolution was adopted in the state Assembly against the Centre's farm laws.
His government also announced a farm debt waiver scheme for farmers and the landless farming community. Singh's wife Preneet Kaur is a Congress MP from Patiala. Amarinder Singh had fought the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Amritsar and defeated BJP's Arun Jaitley by a margin of more than one lakh votes.
He then resigned in November as MP after the Supreme Court termed Punjab's 2004 Act terminating the Satluj-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal agreement as unconstitutional.
A few days later, he was appointed president of the Punjab Congress in the run-up to the polls. A widely travelled person, Singh has penned several books, including his memoirs of the 1965 Indo-Pak War.