According to the information received from an RTI, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu had claimed reimbursement from the government for his personal visit to Pakistan during the swearing-in ceremony of the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Sidhu had gone to Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan. However, Sidhu had then described his visit as a personal visit and not a political one. The RTI reveals that Sidhu claimed for the reimbursement for the petrol expenses, driver’s salary and his own daily allowance and travel allowance from the Punjab government to and fro from his home in Amritsar to the Wagah border.
Questions are now being raised of Sidhu for charging the government treasury for what he described as his private visit to Pakistan, as Sidhu had gone on a personal invitation by the former Pakistani cricketer and not on an official visit by a representative of the Indian government.
As the controversy continues to rage on, Navjot Kaur Sidhu, the wife of Navjot Singh Sidhu, claimed that her husband has not claimed any daily allowance or travel allowance while on his visit to Pakistan on the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan. However, the information received from the RTI says that Sidhu indeed for the travel and daily allowances.
In addition, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, a minister in the Punjab government, has come out in defence of the former minister saying that ministers’ travel allowance, daily allowance, fuel details of the vehicles and driver’s salary like expenses are prepared by the staff. He asserted that Sidhu’s staff members would have mistakenly added information about those days when he went on his personal visit to Pakistan for the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan.
However, Akali Dal leader Charanjit Brar, said that when Sidhu had openly declared that he is going to visit Pakistan not as a Cabinet Minister but as a close friend of Imran Khan, he should not have claimed such a paltry expenditure from the Punjab government and should have stayed true to his words.
It is also noteworthy to mention that Navjot Singh Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan had drawn ire from several quarters, especially the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh who slammed him for hugging the Pakistani Army Chief General Bajwa while on his visit to Pakistan. Sidhu was also excoriated for his meek acceptance to sit besides Pakistan occupied President during the swearing-in ceremony.