Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is at loggerheads with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, was Thursday divested of the Local Government department and was given the Power and New and Renewable Energy portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle. The portfolio rejig took place hours after the first state Cabinet meeting following the Lok Sabha elections.
Singh on Thursday evening rejigged the portfolios of most of his ministers. Â Sidhuâ€™s tourism and cultural affairs portfolio was also taken away, as per an official statement. Barring four ministers, there are some changes in the portfolios of all the others as a result of the reallocation. Â The chief minister said this will help further streamline the government and bring more transparency and efficiency.
Sharing the revised list of portfolios of my Cabinet colleagues after a minor reshuffle. Wish them all the best of luck as they take up their new assignments. I am confident that each decision they take will be in service to the people of Punjab. pic.twitter.com/D21PfTbtsAâ€” Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) June 6, 2019
Earlier today, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu skipped the first cabinet meeting after the elections and asserted that he could not be â€œtaken for grantedâ€.
Amarinder had recently said he intended to change the cricketer-turned-politicianâ€™s portfolio of local government department over the partyâ€™s performance in the Lok Sabha polls. â€œI 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 motivational talks,â€ Sidhu told reporters.
He said the urban areas played pivotal role in the partyâ€™s victory in Punjab and his department is being singled out. â€œMy department is being singled out publicly. I always regard him as my elder I always listen to him. But it hurts and now where is the collective responsibility? He (Amarinder) could have called me and said anything he wanted to say,â€ Sidhu said here.
In the recently held general election, Congress won eight out of the 13 seats. The SAD-BJP combine won four while the AAP managed to win only one seat.