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  Opinion   Edit  25 Mar 2017  Sidhu, give up TV

Sidhu, give up TV

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Mar 25, 2017, 1:55 am IST
Updated : Mar 25, 2017, 2:40 am IST

Mr Sidhu was surely being gratuitous when he said recently that what he did at night was no one’s business.

Navjot Singh Sidhu
 Navjot Singh Sidhu

Navjot Singh Sidhu should make up his mind whether he’d like to crack jokes on television or be a minister. The Punjab advocate-general has said the Constitution doesn’t bar him from doing both. Something similar was said when late N.T. Rama Rao was chief minister. But there was restraining advice too.

As reported in this newspaper, then attorney-general K. Parasaran noted at the time: “The freedom of a chief minister to engage himself in any activity cannot be denied... in the interests of the general public and to sustain the purity of public life, the holder of such office should not engage himself in any activity which leads directly to personal gain in material terms or which will undermine the dignity of the office”.

Public service is a 24x7 activity, not a job. Mr Sidhu was surely being gratuitous when he said recently that what he did at night was no one’s business. For a minister, earning an income from an activity for which rules of conduct, financial transactions and the shape of the final product can be scrutinised or supervised by entities other than constitutional authorities can entail conflict of interest, and be at odds with propriety or public morality.

A minister must not become an employee or consultant for any work other than that given by his chief minister or Prime Minister, whether such work pays or not, and withdraw even from a family business as long as he/she is in office. It is outrageous to say a minister be allowed to earn on the side so that he/she doesn’t become corrupt.

Tags: navjot singh sidhu, n.t. rama rao, prime minister