Five possible reasons why Navjot Singh Sidhu may have quit
Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu’s surprise resignation on Tuesday, less than five weeks after he took over the reins of the faction-torn state unit, was the culmination of a series of behind-the-scenes events that left him peeved since the resignation of bête noire, Captain Amarinder Singh, as the chief minister. HT looks at possible reasons why cricketer-turned-politician may have called it quits:
-- Though the Congress leadership endorsed Sidhu’s choice of Charanjit Singh Channi as Punjab’s first Dalit chief minister, it nixed his opposition to the appointment of Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, a prominent Jat Sikh face, as deputy chief minister.
-- Sidhu, also a Jat Sikh, is believed to have viewed Randhawa’s elevation as a threat to his chief ministerial ambitions after the 2022 assembly polls.
-- He is believed to have been miffed at being overruled on Randhawa who had made a common cause with him in the rebellion against Amarinder Singh.
-- Sidhu is seen to have been riled over a limited say in the formation of the 15-minister cabinet last Sunday. The cabinet had a stamp of Rahul Gandhi who did not go by Sidhu’s bidding for ministerial berths for his loyalists Kuljit Singh Nagra and Surjit Singh Dhiman.
-- What is believed to have added insult to Sidhu’s injury was the return of Rana Gurjit Singh, a sugar baron from Kapurthala, to the cabinet four years after he quit the Amarinder Singh-led ministry over allegations of involvement in a sand auction scam. Sidhu opposed Rana’s comeback, but the high command overlooked his objections and that of eight party lawmakers from the Doaba region.
-- Sidhu is believed to have also been miffed over Channi’s assertion, with the high command’s backing, in the allocation of ministerial portfolios. On Sunday, Channi gave the powerful home department to Randhawa.
-- What is seen to have been the last straw was Channi ignoring Sidhu’s recommendations for the appointment of Siddhartha Chattopadhyay as director general of police and DS Patwalia as advocate general.
-- Channi, in a move seen to be an attempt to shake off the perception about Sidhu calling the shots in his government, went ahead with his own choices, appointing Iqbal Preet Singh Sihota and APS Deol for top police and law office posts.
Delhi was much in need of a relief amid intense heatwave over the last few weeks and heavy rain and thunderstorms did just that. The mercury dropped by around 11 degrees Celsius in nearly 1.5 hours on Monday morning. “Today, between 5:40 am and 7 am, temperature fell by 11 degree Celsius, from 29 degree Celsius to 18 degree Celsius,” the India Meteorological Department said as per news agency ANI. Power blackouts were also reported.
The mercury dipped from 29 degrees Celsius at 5.40 am to 18 degrees Celsius at 7 am as heavy rains with gusty winds and thunder hit Delhi on Monday. India Meteorological Department said the maximum wind speed reported at the Palam observatory at 7 am on was 70 kmph and brought much-awaited respite from the scorching heat and higher than normal temperatures since March.
The India Meteorological Department issued a warning for several parts of Delhi-NCR as heavy rain and thunderstorms lashed the national capital on Monday morning. Extreme wind gusts going up to a ravaging speed of 90 Kmph is also expected. Predicted impact of storm The weather department officials have predicted damage to vulnerable structures and kutcha houses/walls and huts. “Damage to plantations, horticulture and standing crops,” is also expected today. Immediately get out of water bodies.
Delhi was lashed by early morning rain and strong winds on Monday, which led to power cuts in some parts. Air traffic is likely to get affected with airlines tweeting that bad weather may affect services. The early morning rain has brought down temperatures further after a spell of brutal heatwave in the national capital and nearby cities last week. The rain and storm is likely to affect the morning rush hour traffic too.
A suspected Khalistani terrorist, Parminder Singh, has been taken on remand by the crime investigation agency for interrogation in the recovery of two SUVs with fake registration certificates. Parminder is among four 'Khalistani' terrorists arrested by Haryana Police in Karnal on May 5 with explosives and arms. Investigators claimed that Parminder had allegedly bought two SUVs bearing fake registration numbers from Nitin of Ambala and Sandeep of Kharar in Punjab, who have already been arrested.