For his continued attacks on chief minister Amarinder Singh and the Congress government of Punjab, former MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu, his wife and their entire team have landed themselves in hot soup. The Punjab Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, which comes under the direct control of the chief minister, has now fast-tracked its investigation into some ‘shady deals’ involving the Sidhu couple and their close associates. The leads with the Vigilance Bureau (VB) are not new in nature. However, Sidhu’s tirade against the chief minister seems to have acted as a catalyst into the bureau giving a fresh push to the investigations.
Sources quoted by Republic World said that the vigilance team was probing Sidhu, his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu, his OSD Bunny Sandhu, PA Gaurav and clerk Rajiv kumar for five alleged shady deals by favouring certain firms in his tenure as minister. Sidhu retaliated to the probe saying, “Most welcome. Pls do your best Capt Amarinder Singh”. Interestingly, the fast-tracking of investigations by the VB comes in the backdrop of at least seven state ministers calling for action to be taken against Sidhu.
The cricketer-turned-politician has been repeatedly attacking the state government and Amarinder over the purported delay in justice in the incidents of desecration of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib and the subsequent police firing incident in 2015 which sent shockwaves across the state. According to the Hindustan Times, the focus of the vigilance bureau (VB) is on some controversial decisions taken during the tenure of Sidhu as local bodies minister when Sidhu’s wife and former MLA Navjot Kaur, Sidhu’s close friend and his OSD Bunny Sandhu, Navjot Kaur’s personal assistant Gaurav Vasudeva and clerk Rajiv Kumar allegedly colluded to favour certain firms.
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Interestingly, officials in the know of what is happening have remained tight lipped about Sidhu’s dealings and whether he is really being made the target of a fast-tracked investigation by a bureau which comes under the direct control of Captain Amarinder Singh. Amidst the suspense, SSP (Vigilance), Amritsar, Parampal Singh visited the Vigilance Headquarters with a file on Saturday. The file, many believe, pertains to Navjot Singh Sidhu and his team’s dealings during the former’s stint as the Local Government and Tourism & Cultural Affairs minister from 2017 to 2019.
It has now come to light that the file was indeed on Sidhu and his activities as minister. As per a report by the Hindustan Times, the SSP (Vigilance) during his probe had found more than five shady deals. The findings involve allotment of a booth for peanuts to Navjit Kaur (wife of Navjot Kaur’s PA Gaurav Vasudeva), discrepancies in allotment of advertisement tenders to a company owned by Vasudeva and flooring tender given again to yet another firm owned by Vasudeva.
Navjot Singh Sidhu has been attacking Captain almost daily of late. With less than a year to go for the Punjab Assembly polls, and at a time when Sidhu was hoping the Congress high command would replace Sunil Jakhar for him as the state Congress president, the fast tracking of a probe by the Vigilance Bureau serves Sidhu no good.