Navjot Sidhu quits Punjab Cabinet, Amarinder’s office says yet to receive resignation letter

Navjot Singh Sidhu, a former BJP leader who had joined the Congress just ahead of the 2017 Punjab assembly polls, has been at loggerheads with CM Amarinder Singh for sometime now.

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday quit from the Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Cabinet.

The former cricketer-turned-politician’s latest move came after he refused to join the power ministry in state, given to him during the Cabinet reshuffle by Amarinder on June 6.

Sidhu took to Twitter on Sunday, making public his resignation letter dated June 10 addressed to Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

“I hereby resign as Minister from Punjab Cabinet,” Sidhu said in the letter to the Congress chief, which he posted on his Twitter handle.

In another tweet, Sidhu said he would be sending his resignation letter to the chief minister.

However, Punjab CMO has confirmed that they had not received Sidhu’s resignation letter.

The resignation letter states that it had been sent to Rahul.

Amarinder had divested Sidhu of the Local Government and Tourism and Cultural Affairs Departments and allotted him the charge of the power and new and renewable energy portfolio, after the disastrous performance of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha elections 2019.

Sidhu was also left out of the consultative groups formed by the Punjab CM two days after the cabinet reshuffle (June 8) to accelerate the implementation of the government’s flagship programmes.

The Power Department is considered important, particularly in the wake of the ongoing paddy-sowing season when the demand for power goes up.

The stalemate between the chief minister and the cricketer-turned-politician Sidhu continued since then despite the fact that Sidhu had met the then Congress president Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi on June 10 in New Delhi.

Sidhu had reportedly apprised Rahul Gandhi of the situation and had handed over a letter to him.

Navjot Singh Sidhu, a former BJP leader who had joined the Congress just ahead of the 2017 Punjab assembly polls, has been at loggerheads with Amarinder for sometimes now.

Both Sidhu and his wife Navjot Kaur, a former MLA, went incommunicado a day after the portfolio reshuffle.

The tension between Amarinder Singh and his cabinet colleague had come out in the open last month when the CM blamed Sidhu for the “inept handling” of the Local Government Department, claiming that it resulted in the “poor performance” of the Congress in urban areas in the Lok Sabha polls.

Sidhu, however, had said that his department was “singled out publicly” while asserting that he could not be taken for granted as he had been a “performer throughout”.

The CM had also said the urban vote-bank had been the backbone of the Congress in Punjab but Sidhu’s “failure” in carrying out any development work impacted the party.

Earlier, Amarinder Singh had taken umbrage at Sidhu’s “friendly match” jibe during electioneering in Bathinda on May 17.

Sindhu had allegedly cornered the Congress government in the state over the issue of the desecration of religious texts, questioning why no FIR was lodged against the Badals, who ran the previous government in the state.

Source: New Indian Express

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