Amarinder Singh cuts Navjot Singh Sidhu to size, strips him of key portfolios

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Updated: June 6, 2019 8:07:52 PM

Navjot Singh Sidhu and Amarinder Singh have been at loggerheads since the cricketer-turned-politician's wife was denied a ticket for the Lok Sabha elections.

Navjot Singh SIdhuNavjot Singh Sidhu is still the Minister of Tourism, Cultural Affairs, and Museums in the Punjab government.

Hours after Navjot Singh Sidhu skipped a cabinet meeting chaired by Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, the controversial minister was divested of his local bodies portfolio and given the Power and New and Renewable Energy. In a cabinet reshuffle, Sidhu was also stripped of the tourism and cultural affairs portfolio.

Sidhu and Amarinder have been at loggerheads since the cricketer-turned-politician’s wife was denied a ticket for the Lok Sabha elections.

“I 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,” Sidhu told reporters on Thursday after he skipped the first cabinet meeting after the Lok Sabha elections.

Sidhu also said that he did not attend the Cabinet meet as his department did not have any agenda in the meeting. “Had there been an item, I would have been the first to go,” Sidhu said.

Notably, this isn’t the first time that Sidhu missed a meeting called by the Chief Minister. He missed a meeting of MPs and MLAs called by the chief minister on May 30 as well.

The tussle between the two leaders had intensified after Amarinder Singh blamed Sidhu for Congress’ losses in the Lok Sabha elections. Congress won eight out the 13 seats in Punjab. The SAD-BJP combine won four while the AAP managed to win only one seat. During an interview, Singh had also said that Sidhu is defiant on account of his chief ministerial ambitions. “Perhaps, Sidhu wants to replace me as CM,” Singh said.

Sidhu had hit back saying that the Punjab CM had singled him out for Congress’ performance. Sidhu said his department had played a crucial role in the party’s victory in Punjab.

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