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Navjot Singh Sidhu Resigns From Amarinder Singh Cabinet

On Sunday, Sidhu made public his resignation letter stating that he had submitted it to Congress president Rahul Gandhi on June 10.

Navjot Singh Sidhu Resigns From Amarinder Singh Cabinet
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu
Navjot Singh Sidhu Resigns From Amarinder Singh Cabinet
outlookindia.com
2019-07-14T18:26:45+0530

The running feud between Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has finally reached its crescendo with the latter resigning from the state's cabinet. 

On Sunday, Sidhu made public his resignation letter stating that he had submitted it to Congress president Rahul Gandhi on June 10. 

Sidhu's meeting with Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on June 10 had raised eyebrows within the Congress circuits since Rahul had, at that point, refused to meet most Congress veterans, including chief ministers Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath.

While Sidhu's resignation offer was not revealed immediately on June 10, that Rahul had given him an audience had filed many party leaders who felt that the meeting would only intensify the voluble former cricketer's rebellion against Amarinder Singh, the only party chief minister who had ducked the Narendra Modi wave in the recent Lok Sabha polls and helped the Congress won eight of the state's 13 seats.

Over the past few years, Singh has repeatedly urged the Congress leadership to rein in Sidhu, insisting that the former cricketer's propensity for courting controversies with his unmeasured comments and his very public admiration for Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan are a liability for the party. The Congress leadership, however, "assured Singh of looking into the matter but did nothing", sources told Outlook. 

Singh was finally forced to take matter into his own hands last month while reshuffling his cabinet. Sidhu was divested of his portfolios of culture, tourism and local self government and given charge of the power ministry instead. The rebel leader refused to take charge of his new ministry and went incommunicado instead, say sources, adding that though the state was reeling under severe power crisis and several of his cabinet colleagues publicly urged him to bury the hatchet with the chief minister, Sidhu did not yield. 

Sources close to the Punjab chief minister told Outlook, "Sidhu's decision to make his resignation public is just another stunt. He says he had resigned on June 10, so why did he not make his decision public then. Why did he submit the resignation to Rahul Gandhi and not to Singh at whose prerogative he had been inducted into the state cabinet". 

While Sidhu was unavailable for comment, a close aide of the rebel leader told Outlook that the month-long gap between the submission of his resignation to Rahul and his decision of making the letter public was because he "had hoped that things would improve if the central leadership intervenes but the situation progressively worsened". 

The resignation of Sidhu, a former MP from Amritsar who had resigned from the BJP to join the Congress soon after the 2014 general elections, is the latest political crisis to hit the Grand Old Party at a time when it is hit hard by defection within the ranks and a continuing suspense over who will succeed Rahul as party president. 

Rahul had resigned from the Congress president's post on May 25 taking responsibility for the party's Lok Sabha poll debacle and has remained adamant on not reconsidering his decision. The party has been desperately trying to convince Rahul to stay on while also looking for his possible successor but the leadership crisis has allowed arch rivals in the BJP to take advantage of the situation by poaching Congress leaders, especially in states where the Grand Old Party's governments have a slender majority or those which are scheduled for assembly polls later this year, like Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand.  department.

The running feud between Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has finally reached its crescendo with the latter resigning from the state's cabinet. 
On Sunday, Sidhu made public his resignation letter stating that he had submitted it to Congress president Rahul Gandhi on June 10. 

Sidhu's meeting with Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on June 10 had raised eyebrows within the Congress circuits since Rahul had, at that point, refused to meet most Congress veterans, including chief ministers Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath. 

While Sidhu's resignation offer was not revealed immediately on June 10, that Rahul had given him an audience had filed many party leaders who felt that the meeting would only intensify the voluble former cricketer's rebellion against Amarinder Singh, the only party chief minister who had ducked the Narendra Modi wave in the recent Lok Sabha polls and helped the Congress won eight of the state's 13 seats.

Over the past few years, Singh has repeatedly urged the Congress leadership to rein in Sidhu, insisting that the former cricketer's propensity for courting controversies with his unmeasured comments and his very public admiration for Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan are a liability for the party. The Congress leadership, however, "assured Singh of looking into the matter but did nothing", sources told Outlook. 

Singh was finally forced to take matter into his own hands last month while reshuffling his cabinet. Sidhu was divested of his portfolios of culture, tourism and local self government and given charge of the power ministry instead. The rebel leader refused to take charge of his new ministry and went incommunicado instead, say sources, adding that though the state was reeling under severe power crisis and several of his cabinet colleagues publicly urged him to bury the hatchet with the chief minister, Sidhu did not yield. 

Sources close to the Punjab chief minister told Outlook, "Sidhu's decision to make his resignation public is just another stunt. He says he had resigned on June 10, so why did he not make his decision public then. Why did he submit the resignation to Rahul Gandhi and not to Singh at whose prerogative he had been inducted into the state cabinet". 

While Sidhu was unavailable for comment, a close aide of the rebel leader told Outlook that the month-long gap between the submission of his resignation to Rahul and his decision of making the letter public was because he "had hoped that things would improve if the central leadership intervenes but the situation progressively worsened". 

The resignation of Sidhu, a former MP from Amritsar who had resigned from the BJP to join the Congress soon after the 2014 general elections, is the latest political crisis to hit the Grand Old Party at a time when it is hit hard by defection within the ranks and a continuing suspense over who will succeed Rahul as party president. 

Rahul had resigned from the Congress president's post on May 25 taking responsibility for the party's Lok Sabha poll debacle and has remained adamant on not reconsidering his decision. The party has been desperately trying to convince Rahul to stay on while also looking for his possible successor but the leadership crisis has allowed arch-rivals in the BJP to take advantage of the situation by poaching Congress leaders, especially in states where the Grand Old Party's governments have a slender majority or those which are scheduled for assembly polls later this year, like Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand. 

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