A day after Navjot Singh Sidhu made his decision to resign from the Punjab Cabinet public, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh Monday said that if he does not want to do his job, there is nothing Singh could do about it. The minister should have accepted his new portfolio instead of shunning the work in the middle of the crucial Paddy season, said the chief minister.
“If Sidhu doesn’t want to do the job, there is nothing I can do about it,” said Captain Amarinder.
Questioning how a soldier could refuse a job assigned by the General, Amarinder added that there has to be some discipline in the government if it is to function effectively.
Pointing out that he had reshuffled portfolios of 13 of the 17 ministers in his cabinet after the Lok Sabha elections, Amarinder said that Sidhu was the only member who had problems. He further added that the reshuffle was decided on the basis of the performance of the ministers, and Sidhu should have accepted his new department.
Sidhu was given the crucial Power portfolio, which was particularly important at this time in view of the Paddy season, from June to October. With many parts of Punjab not receiving adequate rainfall, the power situation is critical, requiring day to day monitoring, said the Chief Minister.
Asked if Sidhu had made any attempt at reconciliation, the Chief Minister said there was no need for it. “I do not have any issues with him. If Sidhu has any issues with me, you’ll have to ask him about them,” he said. He, however, clarified that he did not see any harm in the minister sending his papers to the Congress president directly as the state Cabinet was decided in consultation with the party high command. However, he added that he had been informed that the resignation was sent to his residence in Chandigarh but he was yet to see it.
The chief minister was in New Delhi and paid a courtesy call to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Singh took the opportunity to discuss the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak. “The prime minister confirmed his participation in the mega event and assured of all possible help to make the programme a grand success, befitting the historic occasion,” said the Chief Minister. The legacy issue of the Rs 31,000 crore food debt also came up for discussion and the prime minister said that he was briefed on the issue.