The war between Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu reached Delhi today. Sidhu met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, his sister Priyanka Gandhi and senior party leader Ahmed Patel in the National Capital on Monday. Amid speculations of his resignations, Sidhu took to Twitter and simply posted a line along with a group photo. “Met the congress President, handed him my letter, appraised him of the situation !,” Sidhu said on micro-blogging site. For the uninitiated, Sidhu and Singh are embroiled in bitter battles since the dismal performance of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Elections. The Punjab Chief Minister has left no chance in blaming Sidhu for poor show in the General Elections.
Met the congress President, handed him my letter, appraised him of the situation ! pic.twitter.com/ZcLW0rr8r3— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) June 10, 2019
Last week, in another snub to Navjot Singh Sidhu by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, the minister has been left out of eight consultative groups formed by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to expedite implementation of the state government’s schemes. Navjot Sidhu had the Local Government portfolio in the state Cabinet. After his recent outbursts against the chief minister, he was handed the power and energy sources portfolio, a comparatively lighter ministry. The leader is yet to assume his new post. The portfolio rejig took place hours after the first state Cabinet meeting following the Lok Sabha elections.
The ties between Navjot Singh Sidhu and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh nosedived with Sidhu refusing to attend the Cabinet meeting. The political war intensified with the open revolt and statements made by Sidhu. The Punjab Chief Minister has been very vocal about Sidhu’s ‘poor performance’. He has time now and time again blamed the cricketer-turned-politician for the Congress’ loss in the Lok Sabha Elections. However, Sidhu said today that it is a team effort and he can’t be ‘singled out’.
Talking about his track record during polls, Sidhu said that “urban seats had a pivotal role in Congress party's win in Lok Sabha elections in the state. Chief Minister gave me responsibility of two districts in Punjab. We won big in these two districts.” He said that it was wrong to blame him and said that, “it is a collective responsibility. My department has been singled out publicly. One must have the ability to see things in the right perspective. I cannot be taken for granted. I have been a performer throughout. I am answerable to the people of Punjab. “
Earlier, media reports had said that Singh reportedly sent an ultimatum to Congress top brass over Sidhu’s exit from the Congress. An India Today report had said that Singh has clearly stated that, “it’s me or him.” Meanwhile, Sidhu’s wife is defending him and has amped up the attack on Punjab Chief Minister with startling facts.
An HT report said that Navjot Kaur has slammed Punjab Chief Minister for saying that it Sidhu’s statements that cost the party. Talking about poll results in Bathinda, Kaur reportedly said that, “Had Sidhu Sahib not gone there, the Congress would have lost the seat by over one lakh votes. His campaign worked and reduced the margin to around 20,000. Congress high command came to know that party’s position is weak there, so it deputed Sidhu in the constituency.”
On the day of verdict, Singh had said that he would approach the Congress high command over his cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu's remarks on the sacrilege issue during electioneering. A day before polling, Sidhu had raised questions on the probe into the desecration of religious texts in 2015. Maintaining that Sidhu's remarks "might have affected the party's performance in Bathinda, the CM said he would take up the issue with the party high command once things settled after the election results.