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Navjot Sidhu back on TV, Oppn seeks his dismissal as minister

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

With Punjab local government minister, Navjot Singh Sidhu, making it back to the TV comedy show, Opposition members on Monday called for his dismissal as a minister.

Speaking to reporters outside the Punjab Assembly, former chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)leader, Parkash Singh Badal said Sidhu’s comeback in the comedy show should be reviewed strictly by the state government and he must be disqualified from the council of ministers.

“This is a matter of office of profit as the minister is indulged into other business-related activities while holding a portfolio in the state government.

He is making profit instead of servicing towards the people of Punjab”, he said.
The leader of Opposition and AamAadmi Party (AAP) leader, Sukhpal Singh Khaira said since a minister is burdened with much public work, it was not proper for a cabinet minister to appear in a TV show. “He has lots of serious business to attend as a minister, therefore it doesn’t look good for a minister to participate in a comedy show,” he said.

Sidhu on Sunday made his come back on the small screen with another comedy show with comedian, Kapil Sharma.

Earlier in October 2017, Punjab and Haryana High Court had dismissed as infructuous a PIL against Sidhu’s participation in a TV show.

Setting aside this PIL by a Chandigarh-based activist HC Arora, the HC made it clear that it was not deciding the writ petition on merit.

It had stated that the Kapil Sharma Show, in which Sidhu appeared, was off air by a month then. Arora had filed a PIL in HC raising the matter of propriety against the Punjab Cabinet minister stating it was a conflict of interest.

Arora had referred to a judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court that had observed that a Chief Minister should not act in a film.

Earlier, CM Amarinder Singh too had sought a legal opinion by advocate general (AG) of Punjab to report if it was a case of conflict of interest. AG Atul Nanda had said that there was no restriction on Sidhu working for TV.

Sidhu had been maintaining that the salary drawn by him as minister was not enough to meet expenses of his supporters, who descended on his house in Amritsar every month. Hence, he argued, he needed a source of income to discharge his duties.