As many as 37 MLAs of the Punjab Congress were here on Wednesday to greet their newly appointed president Capt Amarinder Singh and the chairperson of the Congress Campaign Committee Ambika Soni.
Both leaders were here to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple, Durgiana Mandir and Ram Tirath. Patiala MLA Preneet Kaur remained alongside her husband at these shrines.
Amarinder was given a warm welcome not just by his party cadres but also by residents of Amritsar who visited the Golden Temple to congratulate him on his elevation.
During their interaction with people, Amarinder and Soni exhorted them to pull up their socks and remain united to defeat the Akali-BJP combine in the next elections. The Amritsar MP said he had always held the holy city in the highest esteem. “While I always had a special bond with Amritsar, I owe the people the debt for electing me to Parliament,” he said in an emotional note while returning the greetings.
On his way to the holy places, Amarinder was greeted with bouquets and people distributed ‘laddoos’. It was his maiden visit to the city after the Congress high command appointed him to the top party post in the state, replacing Partap Singh Bajwa.
Amarinder, accompanied by Soni, Preneet and other family members and party colleagues arrived here late on Tuesday night in the New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi train. Despite the arrival at around 11 pm, hundreds of people were waiting at the railway station to receive him, including members of the Mahila Congress. It took about 40 minutes for Amarinder to come out of the station and reach his vehicle.
The erstwhile Maharaja of Patiala, who is normally a late riser, for a change was up early and went straight to the Golden Temple. The enthusiasm among Congress leaders and workers could be gauged from the fact that many of them were also up early and did not waste time in reaching the shrine. Those who could not make it to the shrine went straight to his hotel.
Congressmen jostled with one another to get themselves photographed with Amarinder.