Preneet Kaur

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Preneet Kaur
Preneet Kaur.jpg
Minister of State for External Affairs
In office
28 May 2009 – 17 May 2014
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Preceded by Anand Sharma
Succeeded by V. K. Singh
Member of Parliament
In office
10 October 1999 – 18 May 2014
Preceded by Prem Singh Chandumajra
Succeeded by Dharamvir Gandhi
Constituency Patiala
Member of the Legislative Assembly
In office
August 2014 – March 2017
Preceded by Amarinder Singh
Succeeded by Amarinder Singh
Constituency Patiala Urban
Personal details
Born (1944-10-03) 3 October 1944 (age 72)
Shimla, Punjab Province, British India
Political party Indian National Congress
Spouse(s) Amarinder Singh (m. 1964)
Children Jai Inder Kaur, Raninder Singh
Residence of Preneet Kaur, New Moti Bagh Palace, Patiala.

Preneet Kaur (born 3 October 1944) is an Indian politician who served in the Government of India as a Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs from 2009 to 2014.[1] She is the wife of Amarinder Singh, who is now, 26th Chief Minister of Punjab. She joined the Congress party, to which her husband also belongs, and contested parliamentary elections repeatedly from the Patiala constituency. She won the elections of 1999, 2004 and 2009, but lost her seat in the elections of 2014.

Early life[edit]

Kaur was born in Shimla, India.[citation needed] She is the daughter of Gian Singh Kahlon, an officer in the Indian Civil Service, and Satinder Kaur. She has one brother, Himmat Singh Kahlon, who works for the UNO, and one sister, Geetinder Kaur, who is married to the politician and former IPS officer Simranjit Singh Mann.[2]

Kaur attended St. Bede's College, Shimla and graduated from The Convent of Jesus and Mary, Shimla. In October 1964, she was married to Capt. Amarinder Singh in a match arranged by parents in the usual Indian tradition.[3] Singh is an himself active politician and the titular Maharaja of Patiala, formerly the largest princely state in Punjab.[4][5] The couple have one son Raninder Singh (born 1967) and one daughter Jai Inder Kaur (born 1966).

Political career[edit]

Prior to entering politics, Preneet was instrumental in founding Sanjeevani, an institution in Patiala for differently abled children. She started her political career by contesting the General elections of 1999 from the Patiala Lok Sabha constituency. Patiala was the capital of the princely state formerly ruled by her husband's family.

She won her seat in 1999, but her party lost the election and sat in opposition. After the next general elections (2004), her party formed the government and Preneet also retained her seat. She remained a back-bencher in Parliament, living mostly in Chandigarh where her husband was at this time Chief Minister of Punjab. During these two terms in the Lok Sabha, Preneet served in various committees, such as those on Food, Civil Supplies and Public Distribution; Women's Empowerment; Public Undertakings; and Water Resources. She also served on the Consultative Committees attached to the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

In 2007, Amarinder demitted office after his party lost the elections to the state assembly. In 2009, after she won the Patiala seat for the third successive term in the elections of 2009, and during the UPA-II government, Praneet was made a Minister of State (MoS) in the Ministry of External Affairs. She was one of two Ministers of State who served under the Cabinet Minister for External Affairs.

In the general elections of 2014, Preneet lost the Patiala Lok Sabha seat to Dharamvir Gandhi of the Aam Aadmi Party by a margin of 20,942 votes.[6] Preneet's party was routed at the parliamentary polls and demitted office.

He was one of the 42 INC MLAs who submitted their resignation in protest of a decision of the Supreme Court of India ruling Punjab's termination of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) water canal unconstitutional.[7]


In 2014, the BJP-ruled Union Government submitted to the Supreme Court of India a list of names of people who held Swiss bank accounts. The names were submitted in a sealed cover and not revealed to the public. However, the fact that a former union minister featured in the list became known and was reported by the press. One day before the list was submitted to the court, Preneet issued a statement saying that she had held a Swiss bank account for many years, and that this fact was known to the authorities. The statement also said that in 2011, Preneet had given clarifications to the finance ministry regarding this matter.


External links[edit]

Media related to Preneet Kaur at Wikimedia Commons