Amidst a show of strength by former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, his wife and Congress candidate Preneet Kaur filed her nomination papers for the upcoming Patiala Urban bypoll in Patiala on Saturday.
As many as 35 sitting and former MLAs were present on the occasion, but local MLA Brahm Mohindra, who had won thrice from the assembly segment, was conspicuous by his absence.
However, the presence of Dhuri MLA Arvind Khanna, who had resigned after the recent Lok Sabha elections, surprised everyone, signalling the withdrawal of his resignation.
Followed by a VIPs' cavalcade right from their palace, the royal couple reached the mini secretariat around noon.
However, unlike in the 2014 parliamentary elections, no one from the family filed nomination as Preneet's covering candidate.
During the Lok Sabha polls, Preneet's son Raninder Singh filed nomination as her covering candidate. However, he failed to accompany his mother this time due to professional engagements at the ongoing 20th Commonwealth Games at Glasgow in Scotland.
Speaking after the nomination filing, a spirited Amarinder said that their (the couple's) bond with Patiala and its people was historic and deep-rooted. "We know and understand the problems of Patiala residents better than anybody else," he said.
"The city's poor development will be the prime focus in the bypoll. The Akalis not only discriminated against Patiala but were also hostile, as was seen in the plight of the city roads, sewage, drinking water or other basic amenities," he said.
Meanwhile, exuding confidence, former Patiala MP Preneet Kaur said, "I have got thousands of visitors, telephone calls and messages since I was nominated to contest the bypoll."
She added, "Our family has been serving Patiala for the past several decades. I am confident that the people will trust us once again as SAD has failed to work for the ciyt's development."
Some prominent leaders who were present were MLA Lal Singh, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Arvind Khanna, Kewal Dhillon, Amrik Singh Dhillon, Ramanjeet Singh Sikki, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, OP Soni, Hardayal Kambhoj, Rajnish Babbi, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Tarlochan Soond, Kuljit Nagra, Gurkirat Kotli, Sunder Sham Arora, Gurcharan Singh Boparai, Mohammad Sadiq, Raja Warring, Harchand Kaur, Ajaib Singh Bhatti, Balbir Sidhu, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Amarjit Samra, Rana KP Singh, Gurpreet Kangar, Love Kumar Goldy.