Patiala’s last queen Mohinder Kaur, Punjab CM Amarinder’s mother, passes away
She was the last designated queen of the estate ruled by the Phulkian dynasty. She also remained a member of the Rajya Sabha.Updated: Jul 24, 2017 23:30 IST
Mohinder Kaur, matriarch of the erstwhile Patiala royalty and mother of Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, passed away after prolonged illness at her Moti Mahal residence in Patiala on Monday evening. The cremation would be held at Shahi Samadhan, the royal crematorium, on Tuesday. Designated by tradition as ‘Rajmata’, the royal mother, she was the last anointed queen of the princely state ruled by the Phulkian dynasty. She also remained a member of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Two months short of 95, she had been keeping unwell for some time. She breathed her last at 7.24 pm, as a result of multiple system failure triggered by a natural weakening due to old age, according to an official spokesperson. Former Union minister and Amarinder’s wife Preneet Kaur was with her. Amarinder rushed to Patiala, hence the cabinet meeting and other programmes scheduled for Tuesday stand cancelled.
She is survived by two sons and two daughters. Malwinder Singh is her younger son; elder daughter Heminder Kaur is married to former foreign minister Natwar Singh, while the younger daughter is Rupinder Kaur.
She was seen as the force behind Amarinder’s foray into politics. After the demise of husband Maharaja Yadavindra Singh, she established the clout of the Patiala family even after titles and privy purses were abolished, at a time when other royal families struggled.
She was born in Ludhiana to Harchand Singh Jaijee, a nobleman and member of the Patiala Riyasat Praja Mandal (Patiala State Peoples’ Forum, an affiliate of the Indian National Congress). She got married at the age of 16.
Several dignitaries from across the country mourned the death of the royal matriarch. All India Congress Committee (AICC) president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and other senior leaders of the party called up the CM to express their condolences.
Governor VP Singh Bhadnore, assembly speaker Rana KP Singh, deputy speaker Ajaib Singh Bhatti and the ministers also expressed grief. Punjab State IAS Officers’ Association and Punjab Civil Services Officers’ Association also condoled the death.
Heavy police force was deployed to control traffic and the public in Patiala ahead of Mhinder Kaur’s funeral procession on Tuesday. “We are expecting turnout of several thousands,” said a police officer.
Her body will be taken on a specially decorated vehicle that will start from New Moti Bagh Palace, reach Fountain Chowk, move to Mall Road, Shera Walan Gate, Dharampura Bazaar and other areas, for people to pay homage before the cremation at Shahi Samadhan.
A spokesperson said the funeral procession would start from the palace at 12.45 pm. The cremation is scheduled for 2.15pm