Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, who tweeted on Sunday that he had resigned from the Punjab cabinet last month, today sent his resignation to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Mr Sidhu quit the cabinet after he was stripped of key portfolios in cabinet reshuffle last month amid a fallout with Amarinder Singh.
The resignation "has been delivered at the official residence" of Amarinder Singh, the cricketer-turned-politician tweeted today.
Today I have sent my resignation to the Chief Minister Punjab, has been delivered at his official residence...— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) July 15, 2019
On Sunday, Mr Sidhu shared his resignation letter on Twitter and said he had submitted it to Rahul Gandhi on June 10. The 55-year-old leader met Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi in Delhi last month.
My letter to the Congress President Shri. Rahul Gandhi Ji, submitted on 10 June 2019. pic.twitter.com/WS3yYwmnPl— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) July 14, 2019
Met the congress President, handed him my letter, appraised him of the situation ! pic.twitter.com/ZcLW0rr8r3— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) June 10, 2019
Punjab Chief Minister reshuffled the state cabinet in the first meeting after national elections on June 6. He took away the Local Government portfolio from Mr Sidhu and assigned him Power and New and Renewable Energy Sources. Mr Sidhu's other portfolio of Tourism and Cultural Affairs was also taken away.
Today, Amarinder Singh, who is in Delhi, confirmed he has received Mr Sidhu's resignation. "We have 17 state ministers. I changed the portfolio of 13 ministers including him. When I will return to Punjab, I will look into it," Mr Singh said.
"There has to be some kind of discipline," the Chief Minister fumed, indicating that he had yet to read Navjot Sidhu's letter delivered to his home in Punjab.
Amarider Singh, widely known as "Captain", was upset with Mr Sidhu ever since he attended Pakistan Prime Minster Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony in Islamabad in August last year. In November, Mr Singh, who was facing criticism over Mr Sidhu's second Pakistan visit for the inauguration of Kartarpur Sahib corridor, said he had asked Mr Sidhu to reconsider his decision to go to Pakistan.
Mr Sidhu had hit back at the chief minister saying he had gone to Pakistan with Rahul Gandhi's approval. "Captain Amarinder is Army Captain. My Captain is Rahul Gandhi," he had said then.
Months later, Mr Sidhu accused Amarinder Singh of blocking his wife Navjot Kaur's Lok Sabha election candidature from Amritsar.
The feud between Mr Sidhu and Captain Amarinder Singh escalated after the election result. The chief minister said the Congress,which won eight of 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, failed to do well in urban areas because Mr Sidhu had handled his portfolio poorly. Mr Sidhu had then struck back saying that he was being unfairly "singled out" for the party's poll performance.
After the reshuffle on June 6, Mr Sidhu went on Facebook live soon and said: "I cannot be taken for granted...I have been singled out in spite of collective responsibility." He did not take charge of his new ministry and had been skipping cabinet meets since then.
His resignation has added to the troubles brewing within the Congress, which faced a crushing defeat in the national elections.
Rahul Gandhi's decision to quit as the Congress chief last month led to a spate of resignations in the party. Last week, Congress general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia, a close aide of Rahul Gandhi, and Mumbai unit chief Milind Deora stepped down from their posts.
The party is also in turmoil in Karnataka and Goa where several party legislators have resigned.
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