Amid a tussle with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, opposition party the Akali Dal in Punjab has alleged that it is a breach of constitution that Sidhu has not joined his ministry.
The fresh allegations come after Sidhu's portfolio was changed in Punjab cabinet after he missed a meeting for the review of the cabinet chaired by Captain Amarinder Singh. Sidhu was stripped of his local government, tourism and cultural affairs portfolios in the Punjab cabinet reshuffle and was given the Power and New and Renewable Energy Sources Department.
Akali Dal has now said that 'it is a breach of protocol to not join the ministry without stating any reason. They said that it is a clear-cut breach of constitution that Sidhu has not joied Power ministry even after two weeks since the order was passed.
The reshuffle, in which portfolios of most ministers were changed, took place hours after Sidhu skipped a cabinet meeting. Sidhu at the other hand alleged that he had been signaled out and also met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and said that he handed over a letter to him.
"I have been singled out despite it being a collective responsibility", Sidhu said in while addressing media at his residence.
Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal had taken potshots at the change of Sidhu's portfolios.
His tweet read: "Interesting. Amarinder removes 'sherryontop'' (Sidhu) from the local bodies citing his performance as the reason for the Cong defeat in urban areas in the Lok Sabha poll. And now Sidhu has been given 'Power'' so that Sidhu can ''perform'' and achieve the same results in rural areas."
Sidhu has been at loggerheads with the Punjab Chief Minister after he denied Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu a ticket for the Lok Sabha elections. Accusing the CM of disrespecting women, she had called the Punjab chief minister 'Junior Captain'. He had stood by his wife attacking the CM in a veiled attack one day before the polls saying that 'a vote cannot be underestimated and it should be used to blast those who are colluding to backstab the Congress.
The tension between Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu escalated last month when the politician was blamed for the 'inept handling' of the Local Government Department. The CM had said that Sidhu's "failure" to initiate any development work impacted the party prospects in the Lok Sabha elections. Captain Amarinder Singh had taken umbrage at Sidhu's "friendly match" jibe during electioneering in Bathinda. Sidhu had questioned the probe into the desecration of religious texts in 2015, asking why no action was taken against the Badals, who headed the previous government in the state.
The Congress had won eight of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab while four were bagged by the SAD-BJP combine and one by the Aam Aadmi Party.
In a major development amidst the tussle, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party's member Harpal Singh Cheema in his address in Ludhiana last week had said AAP is welcoming Sidhu.
"AAP is the correct party for Navjot Singh Sidhu because he will be able to breathe openly and express whatever he wants. We welcome him. Arvind ji is also ready," Cheema said.