Why hasn't Sidhu taken charge of new ministry? His spat with Captain hurting Cong in Punjab
Chandigarh, July 09: Its been over a month that Navjot Singh Sidhu has been allotted a new ministry, but the cricketer-turned-politician has not yet taken charge of the ministry.
Sidhu's spat with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is not new, but it is now affecting the functioning of the government. It is the taxpayers money which is going in waste. For over a month, Sidhu has been absent from his office, whereas all the other ministers whose portfolios were re-allocated have taken charge.
Hours after the first state Cabinet meeting following the Lok Sabha election, the Chief Minister on Thursday rejigged the portfolios of most of the ministers, including Sidhu. Chief Minister said it would help further streamline the government system and processes.
Sidhu had skipped the cabinet meeting. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh divested Sidhu of the Local Government and Tourism and Cultural Affairs Departments and allotted him the power and new and renewable energy portfolio. His other portfolio of Tourism and Cultural Affairs was also taken over by the Chief Minister.
This left Sidhu fuming and he said that he "cannot be taken for granted". He had said that his department was singled out publicly for the Lok Sabha loss.
Other ministerts of the Punjab cabinet have also appealed to Navjot Singh Sidhu to assume charge of the power ministry, amid ongoing stalemate between Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
This has given fresh ammo to the SAD and the BJP to scale up the attack on Congress in Punjab, one of the very few states where the grand old party did well in general elections.
BJP has in fact written to Punjab Governor and said action needs to be taken as Sidhu is drawing salary.
"I have written a letter to Punjab Governor. There is a constitutional crisis in Punjab today. It has been more than a month that a Minister, who took an oath to the office, is absent; though he's drawing a salary and enjoying the perks," said Tarun Chugh, BJP, as per ANI.
"He has migrated and feud between Chief Minister and him has caused constitutional crisis. I request Governor to take decision in Punjab's interest. If Minister doesn't want to work someone else should look after his dept. If he is drawing a salary but not working, action should be taken," he added.
Navjot Singh Sidhu may be popular for his funny one-liners on TV shows or maybe even in Pakistan, where some claim that the former crickter can even win elections if he chooses to contest, but in Punjab Congress he is definitely not. Such was the demand for his 'charismatic oratory' that the Punjab Congress leaders especially the supporters of Amarinder Singh did not want him to campaign in the state. Even when he campaigned outside, the cricketer turned politician made headlines for all the wrong reasons.