Cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday defended his stand on appearing for a TV show when he said it was not an office of profit. In a statement to news agency PTI, Sidhu said what he does at night should not be anyone’s concern. “I earn a living through TV shows and I will be in Chandigarh from Monday to Thursday and in Amritsar from Friday to Sunday. What I do at night should not be anyone’s concern.” His comments come after Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had said he will seek legal opinion on whether Sidhu can continue as a celebrity-judge on a popular TV comedy show.
The chief minister was quoted by PTI as saying, “I do not know what the Constitution or the law says on this matter. We will have to ask our advocate general to give us an opinion whether a person who is a minister can do what he wants to do. “It will entirely depend on legal opinion and then I will bring it to Navjot Singh Sidhu’s notice. Frankly, I do not know whether it is a conflict of interest. Once I get an opinion from them (advocate general and legal experts), I will have a chat with him.”
Sidhu, who is the minister of tourism and culture in the new Congress government in Punjab, insisted his TV shows will not interfere with his Cabinet responsibilities. Clarifying his position, Sidhu said he has no liquor, sand mining or transport business like Sukhbir Singh Badal. “I earn a living through TV shows and I will be in Chandigarh from Monday to Thursday and in Amritsar from Friday to Sunday. What I do at night should not be anyone’s concern. I will take first flight back to Punjab after TV shoots in Mumbai,” he said.
His wife and former legislator Navjot Kaur Sidhu openly supported him in a Facebook post, where she said her family had no other source of income but television, and undue hype was being created over the issue. “Such hype has been created about Navjot earning a living from television. When I was working as an MLA, my electricity bill and tea for guests cost more. We have no other business or source of income except television. He has left 80 per cent of shows, which included IPL, commentary, etc. “Shooting for two shows (of the comedy show) takes only five hours a week and that also mostly on Saturday night. I think it is a meagre time for a non-socially active God-fearing workaholic (sic),” she wrote on Facebook.
A cricketer-turned-politician, Sidhu served as Amritsar MP thrice when he was with the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP). In the recently concluded assembly polls in the state, he won the Amritsar East seat on a Congress ticket. Sidhu, however, steered clear from speaking against the chief minister. He told reporters that whatever Amarinder Singh says on this matter is right. “Boss is always right.”