Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh guest at e-Adda today

Not a man to mince words, the Captain has warned the Centre repeatedly of what was at stake if the farmers’ agitation was not handled properly in the border state, while asking the farmers to find a solution through negotiations.

CHIEF Minister Amarinder Singh enters his fifth year in power this month, with his grip on the administration and the Congress in Punjab as strong as ever. An affirmation of this came in the recent local polls, which the Congress swept despite the anger over the farm laws that left Singh walking a tightrope. Like the party’s 2016 Assembly poll win, the victory was seen as a personal endorsement of Singh’s leadership.

Singh will be the guest at Express e-Adda on Monday, in conversation with Executive Director, Indian Express Group, Anant Goenka and National Opinion Editor, The Indian Express, Vandita Mishra.

Not a man to mince words, the Captain has warned the Centre repeatedly of what was at stake if the farmers’ agitation was not handled properly in the border state, while asking the farmers to find a solution through negotiations.

A strong votary of autonomy to states, the CM has also time and again warned against weakening of the federal structure, especially under the all-powerful Modi government. Recently, he questioned the Punjab Governor for sitting on legislation passed by the state Assembly to negate the Centre’s farm laws, threatening to go to the Supreme Court on the matter.

After neighbouring Haryana went in for a populist move in reserving jobs for locals, Singh said he would never allow the same, saying, “Amarinder is for India, for Indians.”

Earlier, he prevailed over the Congress high command, often taking them on publicly, to have his way in the state unit and in his government.

Singh’s leadership abilities were tested during the Covid-19 crisis, with Punjab seeing among the first deaths to the virus. The state took the lead among states in clamping a curfew, and is preparing to tackle the fresh surge.

Singh continues to find time amidst his many roles to pen books establishing him as one of the country’s finest military historians. On China’s incursion into eastern Ladakh, he has been firm on not ceding to Beijing.

The Express Adda, which has moved to a digital format during the pandemic, is a series of interactions with people at the centre of change. It has previously hosted Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and MSMEs Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria, and former Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, among others.

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