It takes two to tango in the new Punjab cabinet: Ministers’ spouses centrestage | punjab | Hindustan Times
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It takes two to tango in the new Punjab cabinet: Ministers’ spouses centrestage

On Wednesday, MoS Aruna Chaudhary made headlines as a TV grab of her husband, Ashok Chaudhary, perusing official files sitting next to the minister went viral. On Monday, it was Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu, a former MLA who opted out of her Amritsar East seat for him, who courted a controversy by attending an official meeting of the local bodies department.

punjab Updated: Mar 24, 2017 08:21 IST
Sukhdeep Kaur
Navjot Sidhu
Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu, a former MLA who opted out of her Amritsar East seat for him, courted a controversy by attending an official meeting of the local bodies department.(HT File Photo)

There are many “better halves” in the cabinet of Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh. And they are working in tandem within the government, for better or for worse.

On Monday, it was Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu, a former MLA who opted out of her Amritsar East seat for him, who courted a controversy by attending an official meeting of the local bodies department. She defended it saying that as a former legislator she knows civic problems and was just sitting and listening to officials while it was husband Sidhu who was chairing the meeting.

On Wednesday, it was minister of state Aruna Chaudhary who made headlines as a TV grab of her husband, Ashok Chaudhary, a former government officer and now Congress leader from Gurdaspur, perusing official files sitting next to the minister went viral. The only distinction in hierarchy was that the back of the minister’s chair was taller! Ashok Chaudhary later described it as ‘good couples do things together’.

Razia Sultana, also a minister of state with independent charge like Aruna, is anyway seen as a proxy of her husband Mohammad Mustafa, an officer of the rank of director general of police (DGP) known for his proximity to Amarinder. Though Mustafa has not been seen in Razia’s public works department, according to Congress sources he had lobbied hard for getting the department for his wife. Mustafa was barred by the Election Commission from entering Sultana’s constituency, Malerkotla, during the elections.

As for the CM himself, Amarinder’s wife Preneet Kaur, who opted out of Patiala Urban for the husband but managed his entire campaign as he, as the Congress unit chief, campaigned across the state, is happy issuing specifications for the CM’s new official residence.