Backfoot drive: Son, wife not to take up Punjab govt posts, says Navjot Singh Sidhu
Says son Karan deserved the post on merit as he has been practising at New Delhi earlier and in the Punjab AG office since last year.punjab Updated: May 27, 2018 10:17 IST
Facing flak from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) over the appointment of his son as law officer and wife as chairperson of Punjab Warehousing Corporation, local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday said they will not accept the posts.
The Captain Amarinder Singh government appointed his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu as chairperson of Punjab Warehousing Corporation last month, while his son Karan Sidhu was appointed as an assistant advocate general on Thursday.
“My son Karan rang me up this morning to tell me that he does not want to accept the post nor would his mother. Karan made it to the list on merit. He has been practicing for six years in the Delhi high court and in the Punjab advocate general office since the past one year. He applied for the post to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather Bhagwant Singh who too was an advocate general in Punjab. He is his grandfather’s biggest fan,” Sidhu said while addressing the media here.
Sidhu said his wife too was a former MLA and a chief parliamentary secretary. “She sacrificed her seat for me and went door-to-door in her constituency to make me win while I toured whole of Punjab during last year’s assembly polls. She refused to contest Amritsar Lok Sabha bypoll too. I had left the decision to accept the offer or refuse it to her,” he said.
Sidhu, who has been accusing the Akalis of nepotism, for once found himself defending their potshots at his family. Reacting to Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia’s barb that the “Ghar Ghar Naukri” poll promise of the Congress was coming true for Sidhu’s family, the minister said he is not answerable to the likes of Majithia. “I am answerable to my conscience and my party alone,” he said. He also denied that his wife wanted headship of some other board or corporation. “We as a family would do whatever it takes to sustain the faith of people of Punjab,” he said.
Later, Sidhu’s wife took to Twitter to hit out at Majithia. “I am a senior gynaecologist, but left my job to serve the people of Punjab. We are not unemployed, sifarishi (appointed through contacts) or non-deserving. Joshi (BJP leader Anil Joshi) and Majithia have no right to comment. Punjab will be a different place if we honour merit rather than giving power to the corrupt,” she said, recounting her son’s educational background and work experience.
When asked if he would not have been on a higher moral ground if his son had not applied for the post and his wife refused it when called by the CM to his residence, Sidhu said everyone in their family takes their own decisions. “It is not my decision. Nor was their appointment pricking my conscience. They are both qualified professionals in their own right. But my family has always stood by me. They have raised my head with pride. I feel light as a feather now,” he said, ending it with his famous punchline: “Duniya mein sab se bara rog; kya kehenge log (the biggest affliction in this world is what will people think about me).
SAD CLAIMS CREDIT
Hours after local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said his wife and son would not take up the government posts, the Shiromani Akali Dal on Saturday claimed credit for “foiling the Congress government’s bid to give ek ghar naukari”.
In a statement here, former minister and SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema said the party successfully forestalled the Congress government from converting its “Ghar Ghar Naukari” promise to “ek ghar naukari”.
“If the SAD had not raised the issue, the Amarinder government would have completed its ‘ek ghar naukari’ mission and soon would have given a job to Sidhu’s daughter also,” he said.
“Sidhu trumpeted the qualifications of his wife and son to justify the favouritism shown to them. Earlier, his wife tried to justify her appointment saying it was part of a package worked out with the Gandhi family when Sidhu joined the Congress,” said Cheema.
The former minister said the Congress government had also ignored the claims of the Dalit and backward class communities while making appointments of law officers.