Sidhu had earlier missed a meeting of MPs and MLAs called by chief minister Amarinder Singh on May 30 as well. He is expected to address a press conference shortly
Will Amarinder Singh drop Navjot Sidhu from Cabinet? The daggers are drawn in the Punjab unit of the Congress and the tiff between controversial minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh escalating beyond repair. Sidhu, who has been at loggerheads with the Chief Minister ever since his wife Navjot Kaur was denied a ticket for the Lok Sabha elections, today skipped the cabinet meeting chaired by Singh. The tussle intensified after the declaration of the Lok Sabha election results, with Singh blaming Sidhu for a drop in Congress seats in the state, particularly the party’s abysmal performance in Bathinda.
There was speculation around Sidhu missing the Cabinet meeting called by the Chief Minister with no agenda for the Local Government department on the table for the meeting. Sidhu serves as Minister of Local Government, Tourism, Cultural Affairs, and Museums in the Punjab government.
Notably, this isn’t the first time that Sidhu has 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. Sidhu is expected to address a press conference today to explain his absence from the cabinet meeting today.
Amarinder blames Sidhu for poll debacle
Matters between the two leaders reached a flashpoint after Amarinder Singh blamed Sidhu for much of the Congress’ losses in the Lok Sabha elections, in Punjab as well as in the rest of the country. Sidhu, on the other hand, had shot back at the CM, saying he was being singled out by Singh. The chief minister also said that Sidhu’s defiance was on account of his chief ministerial ambitions. “Perhaps, Sidhu wants to replace me as CM,” Singh said in an interview.
Had Sidhu attended today’s meeting, he would have been at the target of not just the Chief Minister but other ministers as well. Sidhu, who was largely kept out of campaigning in the state, was roped in by Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the party’s campaign across the country. His efforts, however, turned largely futile as the party was restricted to 52, marginally up from its lowest ever figure of 44 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.