Chandigarh: Navjot Sidhu is having a tough time being relevant within Captain Amarinder Singh’s cabinet especially after the former cricketer went around supporting Pakistan during post-Pulwama events and also during elections.
Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, took the crucial Local Government and Tourism and Cultural portfolios from Najvot Sidhu and instead gave him Power and New and Renewable Energy portfolios.
Navjot Sidhu had skipped a Cabinet meeting in which the decision to rejig his portfolios were taken. He later said that the Captain was singling him for his alleged failure in handling the portfolios that had led to Congress failures in urban areas during the Lok Sabha elections.
Sidhu said that the failure of Congress was a collective responsibility and that everybody swam together and sunk together.
The Chief Minister has given the Local Government portfolio for the senior-most colleague in the cabinet, Brahm Mohindra. The Tourism and Cultural portfolio handed by Sidhu was transferred to Charanjit Singh Channi.
The war of words between Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh began ever since the former cricketer went on a controversial trip to Pakistan for the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan and also hugged the Army Chief of Pakistan, outraging the public in India.
Additionally, Navjot Singh had taken a soft approach towards Pakistan during the Pulwama issue and the ensuing Balakot airstrikes and also throughout the standoff between the two countries after Abhinandan Varthaman’s capture.
Captain Amarinder Singh, who had publically supported the Indian government’s effort to tackle Pakistan post-Pulwama, did not take Sidhu’s action lightly. As a former Captain with the Indian Military, Amarinder Singh has a deep patriotic fervour and did not tow the party line when it came to the Indian Army and the Government’s moves to outflank Pakistan.
Amarinder Singh has also made other changes in the portfolio of his cabinet colleagues.