Comedy serious business for Navjot Singh Sidhu, so is politics
Earlier, in an interview, Sidhu had said it was his TV shows and cricket commentary that helped him build a home at Amritsar. His wife, Navjot Kaur, says it also funds their daughter’s education in London.Updated: Apr 08, 2017 21:58 IST
Politicians can own transport, liquor, media and mining businesses in Punjab but cannot laugh on television for a living. Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu is not amused at the argument.
After the Captain Amarinder Singh government bailed him out of the “office of profit” controversy through his advocate general’s favourable report, a writ in the Punjab and Haryana High Court has challenged Sidhu’s participation in ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’. The HC has now raised the question of “propriety”.
Less than a month as minister, the former Indian batsman is realising politics can be a more slippery pitch than cricket and ministers cannot laugh their way up to the bank. At a time when Congress MLAs in Punjab want a share in every business pie of the state like the Akalis before them and the Amarinder government wants to bring in a ‘conflict of interest’ law for its ministers, Sidhu is among the few who can take a high moral ground. He earns from a private TV show, that too outside Punjab.
But Sidhu seems unfazed by all the speculation over his lucrative TV career. “I am as bright as a bean,” he said with flourish. Asked to react to the HC’s observation, he said, “I have maintained the same stand. I have always done what is permissible for politicians under our Constitution and will not do anything that is derogatory to the Constitution.”
Earlier, in an interview, Sidhu had said it was his TV shows and cricket commentary that helped him build a home at Amritsar. His wife, Navjot Kaur, says it also funds their daughter’s education in London.
As the debate on his TV career rages on, Sidhu is making all the right noises in government and party as minister for local government. He is wooing Congress MLAs -- he has a separate phone number for them -- and wants them to call the shots in municipal corporations and councils. “MLAs are my raab (God). My department will give them a say in all projects in their areas,” he had said.
As a minister, Sidhu has also learnt that to stay in the game, you have to be with the “Captain”. In an administrative reshuffle, the principal secretary of his department, local government, DP Reddy, was changed. Sidhu was able to pull the strings and get him back in a day. He is also no more demanding the urban development department from Amarinder. He had earlier said, urban development department complements the work of local government department and the two are together in the union government. For now, all Sidhu wants is to have the cake and eat it too!
First Published: Apr 08, 2017 21:38 IST