"Solidarity With Navjot Sidhu": Punjab Minister Razia Sultana Resigns

An urgent Punjab cabinet meeting was underway in the state following the resignation by Razia Sultana and Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Razia Sultana said Navjot Singh Sidhu was a man of principles and was fighting for "Punjabiyat".

Chandigarh:

Merely two days after she took oath of office as a cabinet minister in the Punjab government, Malerkotla MLA Razia Sultana today resigned "in solidarity with Navjot Singh Sidhu", who stepped down as the state Congress President earlier in the day.

"Sidhu sahab is a man of principles. He is fighting for Punjab and Punjabiyat," Ms Sultana said, according to an ANI report. In her letter of resignation, she said, "I will continue to work for the party as a worker in the best interest of Punjab."

An urgent cabinet meeting was underway in the state following the resignations, sources said.

Mr Sidhu resigned as Punjab Congress chief, delivering a big shock to the Gandhis, who may have hoped that changing Chief Ministers would help end the turmoil in the state before next year's state polls. The cricketer-turned-politician tweeted a resignation letter that hinted at his unhappiness at the ongoing changes to the Punjab cabinet.

"The collapse of a man's character stems from the compromise corner. I can never compromise on Punjab's future and the agenda for the welfare of Punjab," he wrote in his letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi. He had taken charge of the party in Punjab in July.

His resignation came a little over a week after Charanjit Singh Channi, said to be close him, took oath as Punjab's new Chief Minister -- the first ever Dalit to do so. He replaced veteran Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh.

Mr Sidhu, according to sources, was upset about the cabinet changes made by Mr Channi. Though Mr Sidhu was widely seen to act as "Super Chief Minister" when it came to some decisions, he was reportedly ignored in recent appointments seen as controversial.