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How Amarinder held his 'fort' against Modi wave

IANS  |  Chandigarh 

proved to be the only face-saver for the in the in north India, with two-time securing victory for his party in eight out of the state's 13 Lok Sabha seats.

Defying the BJP's anti-dynasty tirade, the managed to secure a fourth term for his wife from Patiala. defeated her Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine's Surjit Singh Rakhra by record margin of 162,718 votes.

However, has let it be known that he is not satisfied with his party performance in state's urban pockets. Without mincing words, he even recommended a change in the portfolio of to ensure speedy compliance of development projects.

The said the had been the backbone of the in but Sidhu's failure to do any development work had impacted the party, which had performed well in the rural areas this time.

Ahead of the elections, he had categorically told his ministers and legislators to work for party candidates, failing which there may be repercussions on the composition of the Cabinet.

Political observers believe used his former Army background to effectively counter Modi's nationalism and national security agenda and it worked in his favour because fellow 'faujis' (armymen) associated with his message.

His promise of a memorial in Bargari for the 2015 Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura firing victims also put the former SAD-BJP combine government in a spot. And shrewd Amarinder Singh time and again raked up the sacrilege incidents during the elections.

"The poll results clearly indicate the voters have not forgotten sacrilege incidents that hurt the sentiments of the Sikhs during the stint in 2015," a told IANS.

His handling of the issue of the 1984 riots, by condemning it publicly, also helped counter the polarisation of votes.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 26 2019. 07:06 IST