CHANDIGARH: Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu’s insistence on continuing his TV career has set political circles abuzz with the debate on whether his appearance on TV shows would violate the Office of Profit law. Sidhu, however, reiterated his stance on Wednesday and said he did not know why people were getting “stomach aches” over his decision.
In the past, Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad had surrendered their licence to practice law after taking oath as a minister in the Modi government in 2014. Singer Babul Supriyo too gave up commercial playback singing after becoming a Union minister.
However, there is a provision where the person concerned can continue holding the extra office by adding it to the list of offices that are exempted under the Act. For example, when Pranab Mukherjee became the deputy chairperson of the Planning Commission in the Narasimha Rao government, the office was exempted by adding it to the list.
Going by past precedents, it remains to be seen whether Sidhu has to give up his much-loved role on the Kapil Sharma show, or if an amendment is on the cards.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh said Sidhu’s tourism and culture portfolio could be changed subject to legal opinion. “We have no objection if someone is earning his own money by his own means. People have their own professions and some have their businesses. But we have asked the Punjab AG for an opinion and I may change Sidhu’s portfolio as culture and tourism minister if we are advised to do so. If the opinion states that it is constitutionally fine, then we have no objections,” said the CM.