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Punjab

Posted at: Jun 7, 2019, 7:38 AM; last updated: Jun 7, 2019, 1:57 PM (IST)

Amarinder shows he’ s captain, divests Sidhu of Local Bodies

Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6

Even as the war of words between Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh and minister Navjot Singh Sidhu peaked today, the cricketer-turned-politician along with 13 other ministers were stripped of their ministries in a major reallocation of the portfolios.

Divested of the crucial Local Bodies Department, Sidhu has been given the Power and New and Renewable Energy Sources portfolio. With this, Capt Amarinder has given a clear signal that Sidhu’s proximity to party chief Rahul Gandhi and AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would not come in his way of acting against any “indiscipline”. The Local Bodies Department has been given to the senior-most minister Brahm Mohindra.

Only the portfolios of four ministers have been left untouched in the 18-member Cabinet, including the CM.

The reshuffle happened hours after Sidhu skipped today’s Cabinet meeting and hit out at the CM, yet again, saying: “Why should I attend the meeting when there is trust deficit in me? My seat in the Cabinet is three inches away from the CM. If he had expressed distrust in me publicly, what is the point of being seated next to him?”

Sidhu said the party had done better in cities than rural areas. “Of the 117 Assembly segments, the results for the urban and semi-urban areas were 63 per cent, winning 34 out of 54 seats. 

While in the purely urban Assembly segments, we have won 64 per cent by winning 16 out of 25 seats. In the rural areas, Congress bagged 35 out of 63 seats, making it 55 per cent,” he said.

Countering Sidhu’s contention of being singled out for party’s “poor performance” in urban areas in the LS polls, the Chief Minister has reshuffled the portfolios even of his confidants.

Barring certain exceptions, the party’s diktat of acting against the ministers who fared poorly in their respective Assembly segments is nowhere to be seen as the portfolios of Manpreet Badal (Finance), Rana Gurmit Sodhi (Sports) and PWD Minister Vijay Inder Singla (who has also been given school education) have largely remained untouched.

However, the ministers who performed well in the polls — Tript Rajinder Bajwa, Sukhbinder Sarkaria, Gurpreet Kangar and Balbir Sidhu — have been reshuffled.

The four ministers in whose portfolios no changes were made are Sadhu Singh Dharamsot (Forests, Printing and Stationery, SC/BC Welfare), Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa (Cooperation, Jails), Sunder Sham Arora (Industries & Commerce), and Bharat Bhushan Ashu (Food and Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs)

NEW PORTFOLIOS

Barring four, portfolios of all ministers changed

Brahm Mohindra gets Local Bodies Department

Navjot Sidhu given Power and New and Renewable Energy Sources

CS Channi gets Tourism and Cultural Affairs; loses Science and Technology 

Balbir Sidhu gets Health and Family Welfare, it was ealier with Mohindra

Tript Bajwa gets Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Dairy & Higher Education

SS Sarkaria gets Housing and Urban Development in place of Revenue

GS Kangar gets Revenue, retains Rehabilitation & Disaster Management

Manpreet Badal continues with Finance, loses Governance Reforms 

Vijay Inder Singla gets School Education, retains PWD, loses Info Technology

Om Prakash Soni gets Medical Education, Freedom Fighters & Food Processing

Rana Gurmit Sodhi gets additional charge of NRI Affairs

Aruna Chowdhary gets Social Security, Women and Child Development

Razia Sultan gets Transport, retains Water Supply, divested of Higher Education

‘Move to bring in transparency’

The reshuffling will help further streamline the government and bring more transparency and efficiency in the functioning of departments. The move will also re-energise the team. — Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab Chief Minister

‘Can’t be taken for granted’

I can’t be taken for granted. I’ve been a performer always, be it cricket, showbiz, motivational talk or politics. Congress has done better in cities than rural areas. — Navjot Sidhu, Cabinet minister

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