Can’t do anything if Sidhu doesn’t want to do the job, says Amarinder
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said that if his cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu did not want to do his job, there was nothing he could do about it.
The remarks came soon after Sidhu sent his resignation to the chief minister.
Singh, who was speaking to reporters outside Parliament after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said Sidhu should have accepted his new portfolio and not shunned work in the middle of the crucial paddy season.
In a cabinet reshuffle last month, Sidhu was divested of the local bodies department and given the power portfolio.
“There has to be some discipline in the government if it is to function effectively,” Singh said. He questioned how a soldier can refuse a job assigned by the general.
Sidhu on Sunday made public his June 10 resignation letter sent to Congress president Rahul Gandhi amid his repeated disagreements with the chief minister.
“I thought power is an important thing for Punjab, one of our most important things. So I gave it to Sidhu but he did not want it. I said once a decision has been taken, you cannot say I will take this and I will not take that,” said Singh.
Singh wondered why Sidhu was the only minister unhappy over the change of his portfolio. “How come 12 other ministers have taken over the new assignments?”
Asked if Sidhu had made any reconciliation attempt , the Punjab chief minister said there was no need for it.
When asked whether he was happy over Sidhu’s resignation, Singh shot back, “Why should I be happy? I am not happy about anybody going. I do not have any issues with him. If Sidhu has any issue with me, you will have to ask him about it.”
The chief minister clarified he did not oppose the Lok Sabha candidature of Sidhu’s wife, Navjot Kaur, and had suggested Bathinda seat for her but the offer was rejected.
On Sidhu sending his resignation to Gandhi and not him, Singh said there was no harm in the minister doing so.
“After all Congress president is the person who decides who should be in the cabinet including in my cabinet.”
Singh said he was yet to go through the contents of Sidhu’s letter to him as he was in Delhi and would do so once he returns to Chandigarh.
Singh said he had called on the Prime Minister since he had not met him during his second term until now.
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