Punjab Chief Minister accepts Sidhu’s resignation


Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday accepted his Cabinet minister Navjot Sidhu’s resignation.

The Chief Minister forwarded the resignation to Governor Punjab V.P. Singh Badnore for formal acceptance, an official in the Chief Minister’s Office told IANS.

Sidhu, who had been at loggerheads with the Chief Minister, formally resigned on July 14 as Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy Sources, the portfolio he had not taken charge of.

Amarinder Singh has said that if Sidhu did not want to do his job, there was nothing that he could do about it.

The Minister should have accepted his new portfolio instead of shunning work in the middle of the crucial paddy season, said the Chief Minister, reiterating that Sidhu was given a job, which he should have accepted and done.

On June 6, Sidhu had been divested of the charge of Local Government and Tourism and Cultural Affairs portfolios and given Power and New and Renewable Energy Sources in a Cabinet reshuffle, the first after the Lok Sabha election results.

Barring four, there were changes in the portfolios of all the ministers as a result of the reallocation, which Amarinder Singh said, would help further streamline the governing system and bring more transparency and efficacy to various departments.

However, Sidhu, who had been at loggerheads with the Chief Minister ever since his wife Navjot Kaur was denied a ticket for the Lok Sabha polls, refused to take charge of his new portfolios.

On June 10, Sidhu met Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Ahmed Patel in New Delhi and told them that his department had been singled out and publicly blamed for the party’s Lok Sabha poll defeat. Patel was entrusted with the task of resolving the rift between the Amarinder Singh and Sidhu.

The Chief Minister even met Patel during his visit to Delhi last month, but his office described the meeting as merely a “courtesy call”.

Chandigarh, July 20 (IANS)


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