After war of words, Sidhu meets Amarinder; may join Punjab Cabinet soon

After war of words, Sidhu meets Amarinder; may join Punjab Cabinet soon

CHANDIGARH:  Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh and his former cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday held an hour-long meeting on a host of issues, including farmers’ agitation, at the former’s farmhouse in Siswan. 

“It was a warm & cordial luncheon meeting that saw CM @capt_amarinder and Navjot Singh Sidhu discuss a host of important political matters of Punjab and national interest. The two leaders spent a pleasant over an hour sharing thoughts on vital issues. @sherryontopp @INCIndia,” CM’s media advisor Raveen Thukral tweeted after the meeting. 

The meeting between the two leaders is seen as an indication that the cricketer-turned-politician, stepped down last year and had gone on a self-imposed exile, might be offered a seat in the cabinet again.

The CM had maintained that Sidhu cannot be elevated to the post of the state president for now.

More than a year, both the leaders had been giving cold-shoulder to each other until rapprochement efforts were made by Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat.

On a three-day visit of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to Punjab on farmers issue recently, Sidhu was present on day one. 

Both leaders have been not on best of terms since May last year when the CM accused the former cricketer of the “inept handling” of the Local Government Department, claiming it resulted in “poor performance” of the Congress in urban areas during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Sidhu was stripped of key portfolios in a cabinet reshuffle, after which he resigned from the state cabinet and stayed away from all Congress activities.

Earlier, Sidhu had made a public appearance at a “tractor rally” against the Centre’s farm laws in Moga last month where party leader Rahul Gandhi, Amarinder Singh and others were also present.

Sidhu attended the “tractor rally” after AICC general secretary Harish Rawat met him at his residence in Amritsar.

With Rawat pushing for a role for Sidhu in the state, party circles are abuzz with speculation that Sidhu may be re-inducted into the state cabinet.

Harish Rawat had dubbed him as the Congress’ ‘Rafale’ and said the Congress MLA’s worst critic cannot deny his usefulness.

The tensions between both leaders appeared to have eased when the CM praised the Amritsar MLA for the way he spoke in the assembly after the Congress government moved a resolution and brought bills against the farm laws last month.

Earlier this month, Sidhu had attended a sit-in led by the chief minister at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.

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