Captain Amarinder Singh boots Navjot Singh Sidhu out of crucial ministry
Punjab CM divests former cricketer of Local Government Dept in cabinet reshuffle, gives him power ministry
Chandigarh: Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is at loggerheads with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, was divested of the crucial Local Government Department and given the Power and New and Renewable Energy Sources portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle on Thursday.
The rejig took place hours after the first state Cabinet meeting following the Lok Sabha elections which was skipped by the minister who is under fire from Singh for Congress’s “poor performance” in the state’s urban areas in the elections.
Singh had recently said he intended to change the cricketer-turned-politician’s portfolio and blamed Navjot Sidhu’s ‘inept handling’ of the department for the Congress performance in the urban areas.
Barring four ministers, there are some changes in the portfolios of all the others as a result of the reallocation, according to an official statement.
Sidhu on Thursday had said he has always been a “performer” and claimed that urban areas had played a pivotal role in the party’s victory in Punjab.
“I cannot be taken for granted. I have been a performer throughout in 40 years of my life be it international cricket, or world class commentary with Geoffrey Boycott, TV shows or 1,300 motivational talks,” he had said, adding that his department has been “singled out”.
The simmering tension between the chief minister and Sidhu came out in the open on May 19 when Singh accused him of damaging the Congress’s prospects just before the election with his “irresponsible actions”.
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