Aditi Tandon & Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi/Chandigarh, May 24
With the Lok Sabha election results out, the Punjab Congress is all set to initiate action against minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for his “friendly match” jibe at Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh while campaigning in Bathinda.
The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) is preparing a dossier on the functioning of the Local Bodies Department headed by Sidhu. Capt Amarinder, who has already hinted at changing Sidhu’s portfolio, would be in Delhi tomorrow to attend Congress’ Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting where he will raise the issue.
Sources said the Congress would look into the matter after a stock-taking of the party’s poll performance.
Sources said the CM would cite Sidhu’s “inability” to handle the department leading to the party’s poor performance in urban areas as the reason for his decision to divest Sidhu of his portfolio. Several MLAs have been complaining of the “slow pace” of works undertaken by the department.
There’s been no word from Sidhu on the matter, but his wife Dr Navjot Kaur told a TV channel that they were ready with a report card. She claimed it was owing to Sidhu’s rallies that the victory margin of Harsimrat Badal from Bathinda had come down drastically and saved the Congress of the ignominy of a crushing defeat.
Capt Amarinder, Congress sources say, cannot be ignored when he seeks punitive action against Sidhu because Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are the only face-savers for the Congress. Sidhu is believed to be close to AICC president Rahul Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. “Something will have to be done,” said a top source. Some leaders feel Sidhu should quit on his own.
The CMO, it is learnt, has drafted a dossier listing the party’s poor show in urban Assembly segments. Among the seats where the Punjab Congress believes better performance of Sidhu as Local Bodies Minister could have helped are Amritsar East, which Sidhu represents in the Assembly, and Bathinda-Urban. Although in Delhi, Sidhu was incommunicado with AICC in-charge of Punjab Asha Kumari unaware of his whereabouts.
60 seats, 7 wins: Star appeal questioned
- Navjot Sidhu’s star appeal is being questioned. Addressed rallies in 60 constituencies but only 7 candidates won
- Addressed rallies in Haryana, UP, HP, Bihar, MP and Delhi, and in Bathinda where Raja Warring lost to Harsimrat
- Accompanied Priyanka Gandhi during a roadshow in Gurdaspur where Sunil Jakhar was defeated
- Twitterati remind Sidhu of his vow to quit politics if Rahul Gandhi lost in Amethi
Explain victory in Patiala: Dr Navjot
If poor functioning of the department is why Congress candidates trailed in urban areas, how come the party won in Patiala? Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, former MLA
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