- Sidhu, who appears on TV, said 'What I do after 6 pm is my business'
- Depriving ministers of income makes them corrupt: Chief Minister Singh
- Centres lawyers say no private office allowed for ministers
Mr Sidhu, 53, is a regular on the blockbuster show hosted by comic Kapil Sharma. Captain Amarinder Singh, the new Chief Minister of Punjab, has sought legal advice on whether he has to surrender his TV career while in government."How does one live without adequate income?" the Chief Minister said today, supporting Mr Sidhu's argument. "Do they (those opposing Sidhu's appearance on the TV show) want to make ministers corrupt (by stopping them from earning their livelihood)?"
However, he said he waits the opinion of Advocate General Atul Nanda, who told NDTV that he will deliver his verdict tonight to the Chief Minister.
Meanwhile, Pinki Anand, Assistant Solicitor General with the central government, was unequivocal in her opinion. "I think he has to be very clear, when a person becomes a minister, he/she takes an oath under constitution. You can't continue in a private position once you take oath."
Mr Sidhu, who reportedly aspired to be made Deputy Chief Minister, had to settle for three portfolios instead - including Cultural Affairs, Archives and Museums.
After he quit the BJP last year, he negotiated with the Aam Aadmi Party, but eventually chose to join the Congress, which made it clear that he would get no guarantee of being made second-in-command should the party win Punjab.
Its victory in a state it last governed 10 years ago was the lone anomaly to its hammering in recent state elections.
While discussing his TV role, Mr Sidhu invoked Sukhbir Badal, the former Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, who is widely accused of corruption and of employing his term to benefit his interests including a large trucking company.
"I cannot be a transporter like the former deputy CM of Punjab Sukhbir Badal. I cannot be corrupt to mint money...I do TV shows to earn money to run my home and meet my family's expenditure," he said.
"My voters have no problem with my TV shows...what I do from 7 pm to 6 am should not be somebody's business. I have already left 75 per cent of my work related to TV shows, stopped IPL, what else do they want? Should I stop earning?" he asked.