Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh accepted Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s resignation on Saturday, PTI reported. The chief minister forwarded the resignation to Punjab Governor Vijayender Pal Singh Badnore, who accepted it.
Sidhu had sent his resignation as Punjab Cabinet minister to the chief minister’s residence on Monday. Singh will take over Sidhu’s portfolios for the time being.
Sidhu was on June 6 stripped of the local bodies and tourism portfolios following a Cabinet meeting he skipped amid a tussle with the chief minister. He was given charge of the department of power and energy sources in the shuffle, but he did not take charge of it and Singh chaired meetings instead.
On June 8, Singh formed eight consultative groups to monitor the state government’s flagship programmes. Sidhu was not named in any group. According to Sidhu’s announcement last week, he submitted his resignation letter to former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on June 10.
On Monday, Singh said he could not do anything if Sidhu did not want to do his job. Singh asked how “a soldier could refuse a job assigned by the general?” The next day, the chief minister said he will decide on Sidhu’s resignation from the state Cabinet on Wednesday, after going through the contents of the letter.
The relationship between the two leaders has worsened since the General Elections in April and May. Sidhu had backed his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu’s allegation that Singh was responsible for her not getting a ticket for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat. Singh had dismissed these allegations.
After the results were out on May 23, the chief minister had said Sidhu’s “damaging remarks” may have led to the party’s defeat in the Bathinda seat. Singh also said Sidhu’s performance should be reviewed. In response, Sidhu alleged a nexus between senior Congress leaders and the Badals of the Shiromani Akali Dal. However, he did not name the chief minister in this alleged network.