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4-min read

Punjab CM to Seek Legal Opinion on Navjot Sidhu's Act in Kapil Sharma Show

Punjab Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh will hold talks with the Advocate-General, Punjab, on his Cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu appearing on a TV show.

Jyoti Kamal | CNN-News18jyotik

Updated:March 21, 2017, 2:55 PM IST

Chandigarh: Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has decided to seek legal opinion on the new state Tourism and Culture Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu in the Kapil Sharma Comedy Show.

Soon after his election and swearing in as a minister, Sidhu was asked if he will continue with his comedy show appearances. Sidhu counter questioned, “If those who have elected me do not have a problem, why are you feeling ticklish about it?”

Sidhu justified his TV appearances saying he gets an income from it that gives him the strength to take on corrupt politicians since he does not consider politics as a business. “If I have won six elections in the last 12 years and if any other celebrity has managed to do the same, tell me. This means people who have voted for me are with me. If people do not have a problem why do you have a problem? Do you want me to turn politics into a business, do you want me to short sell myself?” Sidhu asked.

Referring to his recent political campaign in Punjab after leaving the BJP and joining the Congress, Sidhu explained why he could take on the Badals and their alleged "misdeeds" head on.

“I could take on the black deeds of Badals directly without any reservations and they could not reply to my charges. If I had that courage, it was because I have not taken anything from politics. Show me a Member of Parliament who has given two crore rupees from his own earnings to a deputy commissioner telling him to plant saplings because they did not have money in their coffers. And if people had been taking objection to Sidhu's TV show I would not have won with a margin of 43000 votes,” he said.

Sidhu has often been called a part-time politician by his political detractors. He says he knows how to handle his work schedule effectively. “If I do TV I will leave at 3 pm from Chandigarh, reach Mumbai at 5 pm, shoot all night and take a 3 am flight and be here at 5 am when no one has even woken up here and will be at work by 7 am.

ALSO READ: Had Amarinder Asked me to Serve as MLA, Would Have Done so: Sidhu

Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur supported him and said he has to run his household and in any case does all TV work on a Saturday.

Replying to questions on a TV show, Singh who has had his differences with Sidhu earlier, said the state would be seeking the opinion of the Punjab Advocate General on whether a person who is a minister can continue with the TV show.

Taking cognisance of the issue, Punjab Advocate-General Atul Nanda said, “I have not yet received any notification from CM, we will examine all aspects. The fact that Sidhu is not just a MLA but also a minister will be taken into account....it might take up to three days for me to give my opinion, the law of the land prevail.”

He further said, “If there is a legal issue, the government will look into the matter. As far as the issue is concerned we don't look at moral issues if there is no conflict of interest. At the moment I cannot say that this is a violation of law.”

ALSO READ: The Curious Case of the Deputy CM Offer For Navjot Singh Sidhu

Complicating the situation further is the fact that Sidhu has been appointed minister for Tourism and Culture in addition to other portfolios. Television falls under the ambit of Culture and that too is seen as a problem area in terms of a potential conflict of interest for Sidhu.

“Frankly I do not know if it is a conflict of interest and whichever way the Constitution looks at it. Once we get that opinion, I will have a chat with Navjot Singh Sidhu. One cannot do things which are against the Constitution. He is also my minister of culture which covers all these sorts of (TV) programs,” said Amarinder Singh.

RK Anand, former MP and lawyer said, “A government servant who is drawing a salary is morally speaking not entitled to work. If he wants to carry on, legally there is no bar. Morally and ethically he should not do it.”

For now, Sidhu says he will continue with his TV show. For how long he will be able to do it, will depend on legal opinion, once it comes in.

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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