Amarinder meets Sidhu over lunch, sets off speculation on MLA’s reinduction into Punjab Cabinet

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CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh met Navjot Singh Sidhu over lunch on Wednesday, triggering speculation that he may be re-inducted into the state cabinet.

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.

Amarinder Singh on Tuesday had invited the cricketer-turned-politician for the lunch.

According to a media adviser to the chief minister, both leaders spent an hour together at Amarinder Singh’s residence here and shared thoughts on various issues.

“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,” the media adviser tweeted.

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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