Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who resigned from the Punjab cabinet on Sunday, took to social media to announce about his resignation letter to chief minister Amarinder Singh.
Sidhu had been under attack from different quarters after he announced that he had quit the cabinet on June 10th. His opponents accused him of “trying to blackmail” the central leadership while claiming that he should have sent the letter to the Chief Minister directly. Senior Punjab cabinet minister Brahm Mohindra had even called him the ‘king of theatrics’ while commenting on his resignation.
While confirming that he had received the letter a day after Sidhu made it public on Twitter, Singh said, “Yesterday I was told that he has sent his resignation to the Congress president. Today I am told that he has delivered it to my house in Chandigarh this morning. So when I get back tomorrow I will have a look at it.”
However, he condemned Sidhu for picking and choosing ministries and refusing work. “There should be some discipline,” he added.
He also commented on Sidhu’s absence from the ministry since the portfolios were shuffled on June 6th. He said “We have 17 ministers in Punjab. I changed portfolios of 13 of them. I changed Sidhu’s ministry from local bodies’ department to the renewable energy department, which for us is a critical thing in Punjab. We need a minister to buy power from the national grid and to do many other things.”
Regarding the state of agriculture in Punjab, the CM said, “June to October is a critical time in Punjab as it’s paddy season. In Punjab, over 30 per cent of the area hasn’t even received a drop of rain. The situation is very bad. Every day I receive (feedback) on the power situation in the state. Now that’s the job of the minister. If he doesn’t do it, I can’t do anything about that.”
On the other hand, some opposition parties in the state have started sending feelers to Sidhu, with Aam Aadmi Party state unit chief Harpal Singh Cheema asking Sidhu to join his party.
Going a step further, Sukhpal Singh Khaira-led Punjab Ekta Party (PEP) and the Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) of Simarjit Singh Bains invited him to join their front as the CM candidate for the 2022 assembly elections.