CHANDIGRAH : Navjot Singh Sidhu can continue doing television but his ministry may need to change if there’s conflict of interest, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said today on what is becoming his first headache in less than a week in power. Mr Sidhu, who became a minister last week, has made it clear that he intends to juggle his new job and his TV career.
Amarinder Singh told reporters that while he had no objection to Mr Sidhu sticking to his TV shows “if it is constitutionally permissible”, he was waiting for advice from Attorney General Atul Nanda, the state’s top lawyer.
“If it is possible we have no objection… why will we? In this case we will have to do only one thing… since he is also Minister of Culture, we have may have to change his portfolio,” Mr Singh, also known as “Captain”, said in Delhi.
Mr Sidhu insists that he sees nothing wrong in continuing with his shows, which include a regular spot in popular comedian Kapil Sharma’s show. This morning, he said testily, “Should I run a bus service like (former Deputy Chief Minister) Sukbir Singh Badal? Or indulge in corruption? If I work four days a month, 7 pm to 6 am, why are people getting a stomachache?”
Navjot Singh Sidhu was earlier expected to be deputy to Captain Amarinder Singh in Punjab.The 53-year-old cricketer-turned-politician was sworn in along with eight cabinet ministers in Punjab last week.
Contrary to speculation that he would be appointed Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Sidhu was assigned the Local Bodies Ministry and Culture. Some believe his stubborn refusal to give up television is a way of demonstrating his disappointment at being sidelined. On record, however, Mr Sidhu has been cautious on the Captain’s objections. “The boss is always right,” he said yesterday.
Amarinder Singh said, “He is a very senior and intelligent person. I do not know the constitutional provision, so we have asked the AG to look at it also, but I am sure even Navjot Sidhu must have asked a constitutional expert whether this is possible or not.”