There is no dull day in the life of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu. As a new cabinet minister in Punjab, he is busy meeting MLAs, media and his department officials with flourish, regaling them with his slapstick jokes and sher-o-shayari. The humdrum of a government office is missing at the plush building of local government department in Chandigarh -- the most swank of all government offices.
In his colour-coded attire - pink turban, pink scarf and a pink pocket square -- he is taking calls from mediapersons and dishing out interviews. Ask him, a government office is usually full of people seeking services, his is not. And pat comes the reply, “Earlier, the people came to the government. Now the government will go to them.”
But how would that happen when he cannot be approached directly over a mobile phone?
“I have got three new mobile numbers. I will be getting three new mobile phones too -- one for the media, one for the MLAs and one for people of my constituency. You will find me sitting in this office from Mondays to Thursdays and in my constituency (Amritsar) from Fridays to Saturdays,” he says.
If you are wondering when he would shoot for the Kapil Sharma Show, sample this. Sidhu flew to Mumbai on Monday evening from Chandigarh, shot for the show and was back in his office at 9.30 am Tuesday. But managing the two would also entail sailing through the controversy of office of profit. Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has said he would seek a legal opinion on this. But Sidhu is unfazed.
“Amarinder is the boss and the boss is always right. He would be worried as a father figure. I have left all commentary for IPL. I only do one TV show. I have gone through the entire Supreme Court ruling. It clearly states the minister should not be appointed at any other government position, the government should not have a right over his position and renumeration, he performs no function of the government and the government should not have any control over his functions. Where is my TV show in conflict with this rule,” he asks.
Colour coding seems ingrained in him. He has a fetish for colours and this time it is over a mobile phone. His close aide, Bunny Sandhu, tells him the mobile retailer would be there with different coloured phones. But black is untouchable for the former cricketer.
“I don’t like black. My mother and my astrologers say it is not auspicious for me. So I want one in golden or silver colour. They are going to get them soon,” he signs off.
He is also building rapport with MLAs and many of them come to meet him at his office and is Mr Congenial. Sidhu has been a good test player, he is now looking to score big in the second innings.