It seemed as if both Holi and Diwali were being celebrated together at the New Moti Bagh palace—the residence of Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh, whose 75th birthday on Saturday coincided with a splendid victory of the Congress in Punjab assembly polls.
Celebrations filled the air with colours of Holi and crackers of Diwali at the palace as the Congress, steered by Amarinder in Punjab, came to power in the state after a decade.
Amarinder, who became the longest living scion of the Patiala royalty on Saturday, also defeated former army chief Gen JJ Singh (retd) in what was dubbed as a contest between a captain and a general.
Amarinder was given a rousing welcome in the city as he came from Chandigarh around 3.30 pm. After receiving his victory certificate from SDM-cum-returning officer Pooja Syal, he drove straight to Burj Ala Singh where he paid obeisance at the ancestral graves. On his arrrival in the palace, he cut a cake as thousands of workers raised slogans in his favour.
In the morning, Amarider’s wife and former Union minister Preneet Kaur also paid obeisance at Burj Ala Singh. “It’s a double celebration. It’s not only his 75th birthday, but victory of the Congress brought about by his charisma,” said MP Singh, a former bureaucrat, who has been working for the family.
“The city witnessed such a grand celebration in 1942 when Amarinder was born. The entire city was abuzz with festivity then and it’s a similar scene now,” said Brig DS Grewal (retd), an old friend of Amarinder.