Nearly one-and-half-year after Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned as minister from the Punjab government following differences with the chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, the duo appear to be willing to bury the hatchet following their one-to-one meeting over lunch on Wednesday.
Following this meeting, speculation is rife that Sidhu is likely to be re-inducted in the Punjab Cabinet soon.The expansion of Punjab Cabinet is expected soon with the possible reshuffle of some portfolios.
The lunch was held at the CM’s farmhouse in Siswan, near here, on Amarinder’s invitation.
“It was a warm and cordial luncheon meeting that saw Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu discuss a host of important political matters of Punjab and national interest. The two leaders spent over an hour sharing thoughts on vital issues,” CM’s media advisor Raveen Thukral said in a tweet.
The two leaders had not been seeing eye-to-eye for quite some time and Sidhu had been lying low ever since his resignation from the state Cabinet in July last year.
Party sources said efforts of Congress’ state in charge Harish Rawat have borne results as he was instrumental in pacifying Sidhu. He had called Sidhu a “national asset” because of his reputation as a crowd puller and hinted at a national role for him in the party. Sidhu had formally resigned on 14 July 2019 as minister for power and new and renewable energy sources, the portfolio he had not taken charge of.
Reacting to the resignation, Amarinder had said that if Sidhu did not want to do his job, there was nothing that he could do about it. “The minister should have accepted his new portfolio instead of shunning work in the middle of the crucial paddy season,” the CM had said,
Before this, Sidhu was stripped of key portfolios by the CM with Amarinder allocating local government and tourism and cultural affairs departments to other two ministers even as a sulking Sidhu refused to join as the minister for power.
The CM had earlier hinted action against Sidhu for his ill-timed comments during the Lok Sabha poll campaign.
The latter had accused the former of playing a friendly match with the Badals. After this, Sidhu had accused certain Congress leaders of backstabbing the party in the state.
The war of words between the CM and the leader intensified when Amarinder Singh blamed Sidhu for party’s poor performance in the state’s urban areas during Lok Sabha polls and said his actions during the Parliamentary elections had not only harmed him