DW BUREAU / Chandigarh
A day after the Punjab government favoured a court verdict convicting Navjot Singh Sidhu in a 30-year-old road rage case, the minister tried to put on a brave face, saying he was ready to carry “any burden” that he may have to because of his own government’s stance, even as Opposition demanded he quit the Cabinet. The case against Sidhu was heard by the Supreme Court yesterday, where the state government favoured the Punjab and Haryana High Court verdict convicting and awarding a three-year jail term to Sidhu.The Tourism, Culture and Local Government minister today said the “explanation” for the state government’s stand in the Supreme Court can be given by the chief minister.
“Whether I am unhappy, shocked, astonished or hurt or whatever it is on account of what the Punjab government has said (in the apex court), Sidhu’s shoulders are strong enough to carry that burden …If there is any burden, I will prefer to carry on my shoulders,” he said.
“I prefer to carry that burden on my own shoulders rather than point a finger at anybody else.” The cricketer-turned-politician also cautioned people against jumping to conclusion, saying last word on the matter has not been heard. “This is a 30-year-old matter. There is some time left for the conclusion of this matter. It will be concluded with the majesty of law. I have submitted to the majesty of law.” As far as what the Punjab government said in the Supreme Court, Sidhu said, “It was said openly. Everything has come before all. What is left for me to say.” “Whatever the Punjab government said (in court), its explanation can be given by the chief minister,” he said. Meanwhile, opposition parties including the Akali Dal and the BJP asked Sidhu to resign on moral grounds. The SAD accused the Congress government of “shielding” him.
“The continued presence of Sidhu in the Punjab cabinet is not only utterly untenable on moral grounds but is also a grave legal and constitutional absurdity, mocking the Constitution of India. / PTI /