CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has accepted Navjot Singh Sidhu’s resignation as state minister and forwarded the letter to the Governor, sources said.
Mr Sidhu had refused to join the new ministry allocated to him after a state cabinet reshuffle on June 6 stripped him of the local bodies ministry.
Mr Sidhu is in New Delhi, and is expected to meet Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra after she returns from Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur, where she has been taken into custody after she tried to meet the families of those who were killed in a shootout in Sonbhadra between tribals and a village chief.
Mr Sidhu had sent his resignation as Punjab minister to the Chief Minister’s home on Monday.
News that he had resigned from the Punjab cabinet, not now but a month ago, was revealed when the cricketer-turned-politician shared a letter he had submitted to Rahul Gandhi on June 10. The 55-year-old leader had met Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi in Delhi after he lost key portfolios in a cabinet shuffle following his public spat with Amarinder Singh.
The Chief Minister reshuffled the state cabinet in the first meeting after national elections on June 6. He took away the Local Government portfolio from Mr Sidhu and assigned him Power and New and Renewable Energy Sources. Mr Sidhu’s other portfolio of Tourism and Cultural Affairs was also taken away.
On the Congress’s national election tally in Punjab – eight out of 13 – Amarinder Singh said the party failed to do well in urban areas because Mr Sidhu had handled his portfolio poorly. “We have 17 ministers. I changed the portfolio of 13 ministers including Sidhu. I was told he has sent his resignation,” said the Chief Minister.
The feud escalated when Mr Sidhu went on Facebook live soon after the cabinet meet and said: “I cannot be taken for granted…I have been singled out in spite of collective responsibility.”