Navjot Sidhu had sent his resignation as Punjab Cabinet minister to the chief minister’s residence after he claimed having sent it to the Congress president on June 10. (File Photo)
Delhi Congress in-charge PC Chacko has trashed reports about ex-Punjab minister and senior party leader Navjot Singh Sidhu’s appointment as Delhi Congress chief. Denying the rumours, Chacko said that, “There is no such discussion in my knowledge. No meeting of the (Delhi unit) has taken place so far to decide on the Delhi Congress chief's post." On Wednesday, there were reports that Navjot Singh Sidhu, the former Punjab minister in Amarinder Singh cabinet, is likely to be appointed as Delhi Congress chief. News Nation had also learnt from the party sources that Sidhu’s brilliant oratory skills were seen as asset for embattled Delhi Congress. It seems the party high command wants to put Sidhu’s skills to ‘good use’. On July 20, Punjab Governor Vijayender Pal Singh Badnore had accepted Navjot Singh Sidhu's resignation as Punjab state minister. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is taking care of Sidhu's ministry for the time being. On the same day, Chief Minister captain Amarinder Singh had accepted Sidhu’s resignation. It came after the differences between Singh and Sidhu came out in public. On July 16, the Punjab Chief Minister had said that, “I will decide on his resignation after I return to Chandigarh. I will have to look into the contents of the resignation letter before taking a decision." News Nation has learnt that Singh has not only accepted Sidhu’s resignation but also forwarded it to Punjab Governor.
Sidhu had sent his resignation as Punjab Cabinet minister to the chief minister’s residence after he claimed having sent it to the Congress president on June 10. He made public his resignation by posting it on his Twitter profile. Singh had divested Sidhu of the Local Government and Tourism and Cultural Affairs departments and allotted him the Power and New and Renewable Energy portfolio. Ever since the portfolio reshuffle exercise, the Punjab minister and his wife Navjot Kaur have been maintaining a distance from the media.
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.”