New Delhi/ Ludhiana: Hours after Navjot Singh Sidhu announced that he resigned from the Punjab Cabinet, Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha said that he is “appalled” to know about Sidhu’s resignation.
“Rather appalled to learn of Navjot Singh Sidhu’s resignation from the Punjab Cabinet & Ministry! He has been a supremely talented and popular sportsman/politician. Above all, a wonderful human being and man in demand, who is also a dear friend,” he tweeted “While we cannot question his decision, one would certainly hope and pray for remedial measures soon towards resolving this unfortunate move….Jai Hind!” he said in another tweet.
BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said while Sidhu’s resignation is an internal matter of the Congress party, his statements, casting aspersions on matters of national security, cannot be condoned.
“This is an internal matter of the Congress party but he has given many statements in the previous year, which gave birth to many questions. He questioned the Balakot air strike. Was he not showing distrust on our jawans? He went on almost speaking the language of Pakistan that only a few trees were destroyed,” told ANI.
“When he went to attend the function in Pakistan, he was seen hugging Pakistan Army chief at a point when Indian people and those who suffered atrocities on the border were certainly pained about it. BJP has consistently asked questions,” he said.
Sidhu, who was given Power and New and Renewable Energy Sources Ministry after a Cabinet reshuffle in June, shared his resignation letter addressed to Rahul Gandhi. “My letter to the Congress President Shri Rahul Gandhi Ji, submitted on 10 June 2019,” he tweeted.
The Congress leader chose to submit his resignation letter to Gandhi instead of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Almost 30 minutes after the first tweet, Sidhu posted, “Will be sending my resignation to the Chief Minister, Punjab.”
SAD leader Maheshinder Singh said that Sidhu should have rather submitted his resignation to the governor or the Chief Minister and not to Rahul Gandhi.
“Navjot Singh Sidhu has created a drama. He should have given his resignation to the governor or the chief minister. He sent his resignation to Rahul Gandhi. It is just an attempt to seek attention. The circumstances he has created it is clear that he cannot be in Amarinder Singh’s cabinet,” Singh told ANI.
It is unclear as to why he didn’t address his resignation letter to Captain Amarinder Singh. The Punjab Chief Minister’s office has confirmed that they had not received Sidhu’s resignation letter.
“I hereby resign as Minister from the Punjab Cabinet,” he stated in his letter to Gandhi.
Singh and Sidhu have been at loggerheads since his controversial visit to Pakistan for the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan where he had hugged the Army Chief leading to a huge controversy back home.
The rift was further widened during the general elections when Sidhu and his wife accused Amarinder behind denying her the ticket from Chandigarh or Amritsar.
On June 6, the Congress leader was stripped off his portfolios after the party won eight parliamentary seats out of 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab.
“We swim and we sink together… It is a collective responsibility. My department has been singled out publicly. One must have the ability to see things from the right perspective. I cannot be taken for granted. I have been a performer throughout. I am answerable to the people of Punjab,” he said.
On November 30, 2018, Sidhu had mocked Captain Amarinder Singh when reporters asked about his visit to Pakistan despite the Chief Minister disapproving it.
“My captain is Congress president Rahul Gandhi. He sent me everywhere (Kartarpur Corridor). Rahul is also the captain of our captain (Punjab Chief Minister),” he said.
After this, the cry for Sidhu’s resignation grew louder among party leaders who said that those who disrespected the Chief Minister should step aside from the Congress government in the state.
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