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Respect CM but can’t put a lid on my mouth, says Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu

Navjot Singh Sidhu was speaking to mediapersons during a ‘Meet the Press’ programme organised by the Chandigarh Press Club. 

punjab Updated: Aug 03, 2018 11:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Navjot Singh Sidhu,Punjab govt,Punjab CM
Punjab local bodies minister Navjot SIngh Sidhu interacting with media during the ‘meet the press program’ at Chandigarh on Thursday, August 2,2018.(Ravi Kumar / HT Photo )

Punjab local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday said he respected the decisions taken by chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who was the final authority. However, he added that it did not mean that he had ‘put a lid’ on his mouth. He was speaking to mediapersons during a ‘Meet the Press’ programme organised by the Chandigarh Press Club.

The cricketer-turned-politician added that he was answerable to people who had voted for him, not to become ‘deaf and dumb’. He added that he was answerable to the people, but also respected the CM. “He (CM) has his opinion and I have my own,” Sidhu said, when questioned on the fact that Amarinder Singh had reportedly not shown the ‘inclination’ to act on his allegations against the previous Badal government.

“If any politician or officer is found to be involved in looting the state then he should not go scot-free. His properties should be attached. Punishing the wrong-doer is justice, not vendetta,” said Sidhu.

On the policy of regularisation of illegal colonies, Sidhu said, “We all respect whatever decision is taken by the CM. But it does not mean that I’ve put a lid on my mouth,” he said. During Monday’s cabinet meeting, Sidhu had sought to fix responsibility of officers who had helped colonisers build illegally.

Speaking on illegal mining, Sidhu said the CM had given him an assurance that the matter will be taken to its conclusion. In this context, he referred to Telangana, saying that it was earning Rs1,400 crore a year from the sale of sand, while Punjab earned Rs 40 crore. “The government should have a stockyard for sand,” he said.

On drug trade, he said all political leaders found involved in it must be arrested. On the issue of turmoil in the AAP, Sidhu alleged the party was acting as the B-team of the Shiromani Akali Dal. “When a rift happens in the party, who will become the leader of opposition?,” Sidhu posed this question before, answering it himself, saying that it would be Sukhbir Singh Badal. Sidhu expressed confidence that Rahul Gandhi would become the next Prime Minister, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of failing to honour his promises.

First Published: Aug 03, 2018 09:25 IST