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.
Polling across 44 districts for the first phase of elections to urban bodies in Madhya Pradesh will begin at 7am today. A total of 1.04 crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise in the first phase of polling, an official informed news agency PTI. Voting will go on till 5pm, he added. Votes will be cast for municipal corporations including Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Khandwa, Burhanpur, Chhindwara, Ujjain, Sagar, Singrauli and Satna.
Even though Mohali district rose by two spots from last year's ranking in the PSEB Class 10 exams, its pass percentage dropped from 99.91% to 99%. Last year, Mohali was placed 17th among the 23 districts. This year, it improved its standing to 15th, with Gurdaspur district bagging the top spot. As many as 9,401 students from 109 Mohali schools appeared in the exams and 9,307 passed.
A 32-year-old doctor allegedly ended his life by injecting himself with a paralytic drug used in anaesthesia at his rented accommodation in Phase 2 on Monday night. The doctor, who hailed from Rupnagar, was living alone in the rented house for the last three months and worked at a private hospital in Sector 34, Chandigarh. The autopsy will be conducted at the Phase-6 civil hospital on Wednesday.
A local court on Tuesday extended the judicial custody of Kalyani Singh, an accused in the murder of national-level shooter and lawyer Sukhmanpreet Singh, alias Sippy Sidhu. Lodged in Model Jail, Sector 51, since June 21, Kalyani, 36, was produced in court via video conferencing. On Monday, she had applied for bail before a local court. Her plea will be taken up for hearing on July 8.
The UT administration's decision to appoint 33 medical officers (MOs) on deputation from Punjab, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, and none from Haryana has not gone down well with the Haryana government. Highlighting its displeasure through a letter, the Haryana government has urged the UT administration to maintain the 60:40 ratio between Punjab and Haryana while filling up the vacant posts of MOs and dental surgeons. Till then, Haryana had not sent any panel of doctors.