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Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu out of action, wife holds fort

Sidhu, who addressed more than 70 public rallies in 17 days across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana as the Congress’ star campaigner, was advised “complete rest for three to five days” by doctors as he ended up damaging his vocal cords, as per a government press release.

india Updated: Dec 29, 2018 14:09 IST
Surjit Singh
Surjit Singh
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Navjot Singh Sidhu,Navjot Kaur Sidhu,Sidhu vocal cords
Amritsar, India-29 December 2018: Navjot Kaur Sidhu, wife of Punjab Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, holds a meeting with Amritsar Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu Mayor at municipal corporation office in Amritsar on Friday (HT Photo)

Punjab local bodies, tourism and cultural affairs minister Navjot Singh Sidhu remains out of action since his campaigning during the recent assembly polls to five states and his wife and former MLA Navjot Kaur Sidhu has taken upon herself to oversee the official work concerned with the portfolios he holds.

Sidhu, who addressed more than 70 public rallies in 17 days across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana as the Congress’ star campaigner, was advised “complete rest for three to five days” by doctors as he ended up damaging his vocal cords, as per a government press release.

Since the polling ended on December 7, he has not been seen anywhere in the state.

On Wednesday, Navjot Kaur visited the Harike lake, the confluence of the Satluj and the Beas, to take stock of the ongoing construction work on its banks to attract tourists. An interpretation centre, a cafeteria and car parking are being constructed there by the state tourism department.

She also held a meeting on Thursday with Amritsar mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu and officials of the municipal corporation to discuss the agendas or resolutions to be presented during the civic body house meeting on December 31.

Navjot Kaur said, “My husband always remains among people. You see how he took rounds of the city streets for one-and-a-half months after the Dussehra train tragedy. A team works under a minister. I am playing the role of his team. What is wrong if I go out on the streets for eight hours days for public welfare as his representative? Moreover, I am not getting any salary or allowance.”

“Nobody from his (Sidhu’s) constituency (Amritsar east) complains that he is out of their reach. After all, financial assistance from the Centre for development projects is drawn by him. Also, he represents the state and it is his duty to take care of all Punjabis,” she added.

Sidhu, when contacted, said he has almost recovered from his throat problem and will return to Amritsar in a week. “My wife has been working with people for a long time and there is nothing wrong in addressing public concerns,” he said.

Back in Kapil show?

When asked about his role in the second season of stand-up comedian Kapil Sharma’s show starting from Saturday (December 29), the cricketer-turned-politician said, “You will know when the show will be broadcast.”

Though Navjot Kaur did not say anything, she justified his participation in the show saying it is the only income source of their family.

“The show will not affect his (Sidhu’s) official work as he has to go for shooting only for one day in a week,” she said.

First Published: Dec 28, 2018 23:28 IST