Hours after Republic TV broke news that Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had been asked to step down from his current ministry - Local Government and Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, on Thursday, has confirmed the reshuffling in Sidhu's portfolio's by sharing the revised list of portfolios of the Punjab Cabinet.
According to the list, Sidhu has been given the portfolios of the Power ministry and the New and Renewable Energy Sources ministry. His earlier portfolio of Local Government has been handed to Brahm Mohindra who is already handling the ministries of Parliamentary affairs, Elections, Removal of Grievances.
Sidhu's other portfolio of Tourism and Cultural Affairs has been awarded to Charanjit Singh Sodhi who is already in charge of the ministries of Technical Education and industrial training and Employment Generation.
Earlier in the day, sources at the Chief Minister's office had confirmed that Sidhu would be asked to step down from the Urban ministry as a result of his open defiance to Captain Amarinder Singh. Sidhu had been ominously absent in a cabinet review meeting of the Punjab Government on Thursday.
Following which Sidhu went live on social networking site Facebook to defend himself and said that he was signaled out without any reason. Deepening the rift between Navjot Singh Sidhu and Captain Amarinder Singh, in the video posted on his Facebook, Sidhu said:
"I have been singled out despite it being a collective responsibility. I was singled out, my department was singled out. They must have a sense of perspective to see things in perspective. Urban seats had a pivotal role in Congress party's win in Lok Sabha elections in the state," he said.
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 SM 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.
Retorting to Congress Leader Navjot Singh Sidhu's jibe on his wife's allegation of being denied a ticket, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday has said that Sidhu's comments, one day prior to the election, will affect the Party and not him.
While the Punjab CM and Sidhu go a long way back, Punjab Lok Sabha election campaign was marred by many controversial attacks by Sidhu against PM Modi, Smriti Irani and later against Captain Amarinder Singh himself.