CHANDIGARH: Punjab cabinet minister and firebrand Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had been at loggerheads with Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, finally resigned, Sunday.
Sidhu had refused to take up the responsibility of the Ministry of Power and New and Renewable Energy Resources, which the CM had assigned him on June 6, following a ministry reshuffle, post the Lok Sabha elections.
In a backdated resignation letter (June 10) addressed to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, the former cricketer-turned-politician wrote, “I hereby resign as minister from the Punjab Cabinet,” and tweeted: “My letter to the Congress President Rahul Gandhi, submitted June 2019.”
The date on his resignation letter was the day after he had met Rahul Gandhi in Delhi when he had complained of being sidelined.
Interestingly, Sidhu’s resignation was not sent to the chief minister as per protocol.
Punjab Rural Development Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, however, urged Sidhu to reconsider his decision and talk to the CM to resolve the issues.
“He is an intelligent man and can contribute a lot to his new department,” he said.
The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) confirmed that it had not received any resignation letter from Sidhu. However, Sidhu tweeted again to say, “Will be sending my resignation to the Chief Minister, Punjab.’’
CM Amarinder had divested Sidhu of the Local Government and Tourism and Cultural Affairs Departments while changing portfolios of many others in the reshuffle.
Sidhu was also left out of the consultative groups formed by Amarinder on June 8, two days after the cabinet reshuffle, to accelerate the implementation of government’s flagship programmes.