Navjot Sidhu doesn’t take charge two days after being given power, incommunicado

Navjot Sidhu

The Hush Post| 12:09 pm|one-minute-read|

Two days, after Navjot Singh Sidhu was divested of his portfolio in a cabinet rejig, Punjab minister Sidhu went incommunicado. Now, there are speculations on whether he will take charge of his new assignment.

Sidhu and his wife Navjot Kaur stayed away from the media on Friday.

Earlier, amid a tussle with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Sidhu was stripped of his local government, tourism and cultural affairs portfolios in the Punjab cabinet reshuffle on Thursday. However, he wasn’t alone who was reshuffled as a minister, there were many others whose portfolio were changed.

He was given the Power and New and Renewable Energy Sources Department.

The reshuffle, in which portfolios of most ministers were changed, took place hours after Sidhu skipped a cabinet meeting.

Instead, he chose to address the media at his official residence on Thursday.

Sidhu had said that his department was “singled out publicly” for the Lok Sabha loss, asserting that he could not be taken for granted as he had been a “performer throughout”.

He refuted allegations that the party performed poorly in Punjab’s urban areas, saying of the 69 assembly segments where it won, 34 were urban.

Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal took potshots at the change of Sidhu’s portfolios.

“Interesting. Amarinder removes ‘sherryontop” (Sidhu) from the local bodies citing his performance as the reason for the Cong defeat in urban areas in the Lok Sabha poll. And now Sidhu has been given ‘Power” so that Sidhu can ”perform” and achieve the same results in rural areas,” Sukhbir Badal said in a tweet.

On the other hand, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Aman Arora congratulated Sidhu for becoming the power minister. He urged him to review three power purchase agreements with private thermal power plants signed by the previous SAD-BJP government. Arora claimed that it resulted in a financial burden of Rs. 2,800 crore per annum on the exchequer.

The tension between Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu escalated last month, when the politician was blamed for the “inept handling” of the Local Government Department.

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