New Delhi: Punjab’s new tourism minister Navjot Singh Sidhu is not new to controversies. Neither does he shy away from them.
The cricketer-turned politician, who took oath as a cabinet minister in the Captain Amarinder Singh’s government on Thursday, was given the portfolios of Local Government and Tourism & Culture Affairs.
Sidhu has however decided to continue being a part of the Kapil Shama comedy show on Sony Entertainment channel.
This has provoked immense controversy as many Congress leaders are opposed to this decision. As an aside, both Sidhu and Kapil Sharma are Amritsari munde, but the point is that Sidhu’s decision to continue being on the show means he gets a monetary benefit.
The Congress fears that as an MLA it attracts the Office of Profit clause and leaders in the party (who have been sharpening their knives against him) are considering writing to the Election Commission and the Governor of Punjab to restrain Sidhu.
What the Congress doesn’t realise is that the Office of Profit Clause (a) of Article 102 of the Constitution of India is applicable only if you hold a government post, irrespective of whether you get monetary benefits.
The clause says: A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either house of Parliament, if he holds any “office of profit” under the Government of India or the Government of any State other than an office.
Sonia Gandhi, a member of Lok Sabha, was appointed the chairperson of national advisory council by the UPA 1 government. After the issue of office of profit was raised, she quit as an MP and sought re-election. Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachachan lost her seat for holding the post of chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Federation.