Captain on Sidhu exit: How can a soldier refuse his General?

The Asian Age.

India, All India

The chief minister reshuffled the state Cabinet in the first meeting after national elections on June 6.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh

New Delhi: As Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday sent his resignation to chief minister Capt Amarinder singh at his official residence in Chandigarh. Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has said if Mr Sidhu did not want to do his job, there was nothing he 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, reiterating that Mr Sidhu was given a job, which he should have accepted and done. “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. There has to be some discipline in the government if it is to function effectively, added 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 added, in response to a question. He wondered why Mr Sidhu was the only person unhappy over the change when other ministers have taken charge of their new departments. “How come 12 other ministers have taken over the job?”

The chief minister reshuffled the state Cabinet in the first meeting after national elections on June 6. He took away the local government portfolio from Mr Sidhu and assigned him power and new and renewable energy sources. Mr Sidhu’s other portfolio of tourism and cultural affairs was also taken away. Mr Sidhu’s wife during the Lok Sabha election campaign had alleged that it was the Punjab chief minister who did not want her to contest the Lok Sabha polls. The Punjab chief minister clarified tht he did not oppose the Lok Sabha candidature of Mr Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur and had instead suggested she should contest from Bathinda, which the couple rejected. He further added that he was yet to go through the contents of Mr Sidhu’s letter to him as he was in Delhi and would do so once he returns to Chandigarh.