Punjab minister Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa on Saturday came down heavily on his state cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu for his remarks on Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and demanded his resignation.
At a press conference on Friday, Sidhu was asked why he had ignored the advice of his captain to visit Pakistan for the Kartarpur Corridor ground-breaking ceremony. In response, the cricketer-turned-politician purportedly asked "who's captain?"
"Which captain you are talking about? Oh.. Captain Amarinder Singh. He is an Army Captain. My captain is Rahul Gandhi. The captain's captain is also Rahul Gandhi," he had said.
The Punjab Cabinet is believed to be displeased with these remarks. On Saturday, Bajwa said Sidhu should resign on moral grounds.
"If he can't respect Punjab's captain, then morally he should quit," the state minister said, demanding his resignation for indiscipline and disrespect to Amarinder. "Navjot Singh Sidhu is adopting wrong means for his ambition."
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Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur, however, defended her husband's statements, saying "they were all Rahul Gandhi's sepoys, not any chief minister's".
Sidhu was also attacked over his Hyderabad remark by Revenue and Rehabilitation minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria and Sports Minister Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi. Sodhi said other ministers too are backing Amarinder Singh on this.
"Among the ministers I spoke with are Aruna Chaudhary and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot. We are all solidly behind Capt Amarinder Singh," Sodhi said.
The Punjab chief minister had declined Pakistan's invitation to attend the ceremony, citing Islamabad's continued support to terrorism in India. He was also reportedly unhappy about Sidhu's decision to attend the Kartarpur ceremony despite the criticism he drew after his last visit.
Moreover, Sidhu had downplayed his supposed differences with Amarinder, stating that the chief minister was like a father figure to him. "He is the chief minister. He is our boss, but this is not the first time I went without informing. The last time when I went there (Pakistan), I had said that I will come again for the people," he had said.
Earlier on Saturday, CNN-News18 had reported, quoting Congress sources, that the Punjab cabinet was considering demanding Sidhu's resignation after the controversy over his trip to Pakistan. The news channel said the Punjab cabinet was scheduled to meet on Saturday, and the ministers could bring up the subject of Sidhu's resignation.
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Updated Date: Dec 01, 2018 21:53 PM