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Tandarust Punjab: Navjot Sidhu advised to lose kilos, Congress MLAs to walk in villages

In “active” politics, Sidhu has piled up kilos and doctors have advised him to lose weight to get rid of back pain.

punjab Updated: Jun 11, 2018 09:49 IST
Sukhdeep Kaur
Sukhdeep Kaur
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Amarinder Singh,Navjot Sidhu,Punjab
Illustration: Daljeet Kaur Sandhu/HT

The ‘Tandarust Punjab’ mission of chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh will seemingly kick-start from his own cabinet and party.

After launching the mission on Tuesday to make Punjab healthiest state in the country by ensuring clean food, water and air, the CM has set off for cooler climes to escape sweltering heat. But Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar has asked all party MLAs to hold protest marches in villages against high fuel prices before the paddy transplantation season begins on June 20.

Jakhar, who took a rickshaw ride in Batala earlier last week and a tractor rally on the Banur-Patiala highway on Saturday, says the protests will be held in villages now as it is during this time that farmers need diesel to transplant paddy.

“We will stretch this phase of protest over a week or 10 days. The MLAs and party functionaries will be asked to do couple of villages per day. They can walk inside villages and between villages in their cars,” he said.

But some party MLAs question why they are being asked to toil in the heat when the CM and his entire team are holidaying. “This too when the Lok Sabha polls are due early next year,” one of them said. CM’s media adviser Raveen Thukral expressed ignorance about Captain’s whereabouts. The CM office too is taking a break. His chief principal secretary Suresh Kumar has left for the US and Thukral himself is in Canada.


Back home, local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has been given a fitness challenge by his doctors. In “active” politics, Sidhu has piled up kilos and doctors have advised him to lose weight to get rid of back pain. “I had a strict exercise regimen as a cricketer and commentator. But now, I sit for long hours and do not exercise. I was 70 kg when I started playing cricket, was around 80 kg as a TV commentator and now I am 90 kilos. I have set the target to lose at least 8 kg in 3 months,” Sidhu says.

The former laughter show judge admits full-time politics is no joke. “As an MP, I got time to work out. But now, I am juggling between meetings, travelling to Amritsar and other parts of Punjab. My health problem has come as a wakeup call,” he says.

Captain’s bête noire, Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa too has been sweating it out in a gym. Amarinder himself had created quite a flutter with his picture of playing badminton after his health became a talking point last year.

But will the SUV-trotting Congress MLAs walk Punjab villages in scorching heat? Jakhar says the first-timers are all for it and some others will be too. After the traffic jam the long convoy of tractors caused on the Rajpura-Banur road, commuters harassed by high fuel prices would like the Congress to walk the talk. As for Sidhu and Bajwa, Captain can challenge them to a game of badminton!

First Published: Jun 11, 2018 09:49 IST