Unfazed by row over his TV show, Navjot Singh Sidhu presses for more portfolios

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Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh | Published:March 22, 2017 3:23 am

Earlier, Sidhu had objected to the government’s proposal on disbanding Improvement Trusts (ITs) across the state, seeking more time from the Cabinet before taking a decision.

Unfazed by the controversy over his contract with the Kapil Sharma Show on TV, Navjot Singh Sidhu is spreading his wings. In addition to Local Government, his allotted portfolio, he has staked claim on the Housing and Urban Development department that is presently with Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. Sidhu has sent a proposal to the CM asking for department as it was related to his portfolio. A senior functionary of the government said Sidhu had given a representation that even in the Union Cabinet, Local Government, Housing and Urban Developments were clubbed together.

“There is no friction between the two. The matter was discussed with the CM. He is very open to ideas. The file has been moved to the CM,” the official said.

Earlier, Sidhu had objected to the government’s proposal on disbanding Improvement Trusts (ITs) across the state, seeking more time from the Cabinet before taking a decision. Sources in Local Government department said Sidhu was rigorously preparing a case against disbanding of ITs.

Dismissing all talk of a simmering political feud between Amarinder and Sidhu, the functionary said,”Sidhu feels he can contribute more to the state. And the CM is willing to consider his request.” Amarinder had on Monday sought a legal opinion from Punjab’s Attorney General Atul Nanda on whether Sidhu could continue on TV or it amounted to a conflict. The AG is yet to submit its report, said sources.

Congress sources said even the top leadership of the party would be happier if Sidhu quit the comedy show. “They want him to look serious. Punjab is a crucial state. AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi wants to show the entire country how his party would run a state. It will be like his model. But with Sidhu on TV, questions are already being raised,” said a senior Congress leader.

He added the top leadership was even considering “having a talk” with Sidhu and advise him against his continued appearance in the comedy show.

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