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Defiant Sidhu fails to assume charge at new ministry, kept out of consultative groups

IANS  |  Chandigarh 

Cabinet Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is at loggerheads with and was allocated a new portfolio on Thursday, failed to assume his new charge, it was learnt on Saturday.

The rift between the and came to the fore once again with the Amarinder preferring to keep out of crucial consultative groups that were announced on Saturday to review progress and make changes, if needed, in the government's flagship programmes and schemes.

has been camping in the national capital since Friday to have an audience with the party's top leadership.

Hours after the first state Cabinet meeting following the Lok Sabha election, the on Thursday rejigged the portfolios of most of the ministers, including Sidhu.

Barring four ministers, there were some changes in the portfolios of all the ministers as a result of the reallocation, which the Chief Minister said would help further streamline the government system and processes and bring more transparency and efficacy to various departments.

The portfolio was earlier with Sidhu who now has Power and New and Renewable Energy Sources. His other portfolio of Tourism and Cultural Affairs was also taken over by the Chief Minister.

Almost all ministers, except Sidhu, have assumed their new offices, a senior government functionary told IANS.

Since is on his first trip to Wayanad after his victory from the seat in the Lok Sabha polls, Sidhu is likely to meet and in a day or two, a said, requesting anonymity.

He may also wait till Rahul Gandhi's return to New Delhi, he added.

Sidhu and his wife Navjot Kaur, a former legislator, have not reacted to the media since he was divested of his portfolio.

Taking an indirect dig at Amarinder, widely known as 'Captain' owing to his Army background, the is often quoted as saying "his is Rahul Gandhi".

Even during the Lok Sabha electioneering, his wife said Sidhu had campaigned in only at the request of

A defiant Sidhu, in fact, skipped a Cabinet meeting on Thursday and declared later that he "cannot be taken for granted". He had said that his department was singled out publicly for the Lok Sabha loss.

This was the first meeting of the Cabinet after the Lok Sabha election, and the Chief Minister set a deadline for the completion of his government's flagship programmes within six months.

This was the second time in a week when Sidhu boycotted a crucial meeting in evident protest.

Earlier, Sidhu was absent from the Legislature Party (CLP) meeting chaired by Amarinder here last week.

Sidhu was not available for comment on Saturday despite repeated attempts.

Missing no opportunity in taking a jibe at Sidhu after the portfolio reallocation, and Member of Parliament tweeted: "He has been given 'power' (portfolio) so that Sidhu can perform and achieve the same results in rural areas too."

Badal said the Chief Minister removed Sidhu from the portfolio citing his performance as the reason for the Congress' defeat in urban areas in the Lok Sabha election.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 08 2019. 18:02 IST