Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Saturday met Congress veteran Ahmed Patel in the capital and is learnt to have reasserted his stand on cabinet colleague Navjot Sidhu.
Sidhu had on June 10 met Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Patel and posted a group picture on Twitter to say he had apprised the leadership of his position as local bodies minister in Punjab.
Amarinder through a cabinet reshuffle on June 6 had changed Sidhu’s portfolio to power saying his poor performance in local bodies cost the party in the recent general election.
Sidhu has accused Amarinder of singling him out for punishment and has not taken charge of the power ministry. He wants the local bodies ministry back.
After Gandhis asked Patel to talk to Amarinder about the matter, the Punjab CM called on Patel and is learnt to have conveyed to him his decision on Sidhu being final.
Singh had earlier told the party leadership the same thing and it was understood between the Congress and the state government that while the party had a role in deciding on ministerial faces, the revamp of the state cabinet is the CM’s prerogative.
Singh is reported to have told the Congress leaders that he had reasons for changing Sidhu’s portfolio and is convinced of the move.
It remains to be seen how Sidhu reacts to the meeting.
Party sources, meanwhile, said Amarinder wouldn’t have met Patel if he had any inclination to reconsider his stand on changing Sidhu’s department.