Sidhu’s tourism and cultural affairs portfolio was also taken away, as per an official statement.
Chandigarh: Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is at loggerheads with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, was Thursday divested of the Local Government department and was given the Power and New and Renewable Energy portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle.
The portfolio rejig took place hours after the first state Cabinet meeting following the Lok Sabha elections, which Mr Sidhu skipped.
Mr Singh on Thursday evening rejigged the portfolios of most of his ministers. Mr Sidhu’s tourism and cultural affairs portfolio was also taken away, as per an official statement.
Barring four ministers, there were some chan-ges in the portfolios of all the others as a result of the reallocation. The CM said this will help further streamline the government and bring more transparency and efficiency.
Soon after the Cabinet meeting, sources said the portfolio of many ministers, including Brahm Mohindra, Mr Sidhu, Tripat Bajwa and Gurpreet Kangar, were being rejigged.
Ensuring that Mr Sidhu was not singled out, portfolios of some ministers close to the CM were also given additional responsibilities.
Earlier , Mr Sidhu held a media address to say that he did not attend the meeting as he was the only minister who has been singled out in the Punjab government for the election loss.
While in a statement in the days after the Lok Sabha elections, Mr Singh blamed Mr Sidhu for the electoral loss, MR Sidhu on Thursday said the responsibility of losing or winning an election is “collective”.
Mr Sidhu said Congress won in big numbers in the urban areas. “Urban areas played a pivotal role in Congres’s victory in Punjab. In urban areas Congress won 34 out of 54 seats with 63 percent strike rate while in rural areas Congress has bagged 35 out of 63 seats with 55 percent strike rate,” he said.
Mr Sidhu then went on to slam the CM and said that it was wrong of Captain to blame him for Congress’s loss of seats in Punjab.
“Congress won in all large cities, including Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala and SAS Nagar, which marks 50 percent of the urban Punjab,” said Sidhu.
Sidhu then went on to slam CM Amarinder Singh and said that it was wrong of Captain to blame him for Congress’s loss of seats in Punjab.
After the elections, Amarinder Singh had said, “His responsibilities have to be redesignated. We lost Bathinda and Gurdaspur because of the poor performance in urban segments.”
Time and again has Amarinder voiced his disapproval of Sidhu’s controversial statements and actions such as his attending the Kartarpur corridor opening ceremony in Pakistan and hugging the Pakistani Army chief.
Earlier, Amarinder Singh held a press conference to say that Sidhu’s antics had cost Congress dearly in the Lok Sabha elections.