Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 8
As Navjot Singh Sidhu raised his stakes in the battle of supremacy with Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, the Congress came out in defence of the latter saying there was nothing unusual about a CM reallocating portfolios.
Speaking to The Tribune, Congress incharge of Punjab affairs Asha Kumari said, "It is the CM's prerogative and remit to reallocate cabinet portfolios. That is what has been done. There is nothing unusual about it."
Sidhu has not taken charge of the power ministry, the department allocated to him in the recent Cabinet reshuffle. The miffed minister is in the Capital to meet the Congress high command to flag concerns. He is yet to get an audience considering Congress president Rahul Gandhi is in Wayanad on a thanksgiving tour and will return on Monday.
Sources say Sidhu may have overstepped his brief this time by making an issue of a routine rejig and by putting the party's central leadership in an embarrassing spot.
"What moral position will Sidhu take on a cabinet portfolio reallocation at a time when Rahul is insisting on resigning as Congress president taking responsibility for the party's dismal show in the elections?" an AICC source said. Top Congress leaders feel the party high command was likely to back Amarinder Singh in this ongoing slugfest between the two leaders.
A source says, “The Congress president was in Delhi the day Capt Amarinder reallocated portfolios. We also learn Sidhu has not yet got the audience he is awaiting. The fact is the Congress lost heavily in urban Lok Sabha segments under Sidhu's watch as Local Bodies Minister.”
While Capt Amarinder was in Himachal Pradesh today for his weekend getaway, Sidhu endured Delhi's heat in his wait for a crucial audience with the Gandhis.
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