Sidhu's security withdrawn, wife cries foul

The Punjab police yesterday withdrew the security cover to former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, which caused his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu to term the incumbent Punjab state government as a 'dictatorship'.

Amritsar: The Punjab police yesterday withdrew the security cover to former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, which caused his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu to term the incumbent Punjab state government as a 'dictatorship'.

Navjot Kaur, who is the chief parliamentary secretary in the Parkash Singh Badal-led government, confirmed that the security cover that Sidhu was provided as an MP was earlier reduced after the completion of his term but the four police constables provided to him were also taken back on Tuesday.

"There is no democracy left in Punjab. This is the beginning of dictatorship," she told ANI via telephone, stating that she was surprised by the move.

Sidhu, who had been critical of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) (SAD) party, and whom he accuses of denying him the ticket to contest from Amritsar in the recent Lok Sabha elections, had opened a front against SAD during the run up to the upcoming Haryana legislative assembly elections. Sidhu held a series of public meetings at Jagadhri, Guhla, Pehowa, Safidon, Dabwali, Kalanwali and Tohana for the candidates of BJP.

Sidhu had reportedly stated that the SAD was shaking hands with the BJP's rival in Haryana, the Om Parkash Chautala -led Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).

"He spoke the truth and we are not going to bow down," said Navjot Kaur, adding that though she was part of the Badal government, she and her husband had the right to express their opinions.

Punjab state BJP president Kamal Sharma, in a telephonic conversation with ANI from Ferozpur termed the incident 'unfortunate'. He also said that the timing of the withdrawal of the security was wrong and promised to take up the matter with Badal and the party high command in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, media advisor to the Deputy Chief Minister Jangveer Singh denied the accusations.

"There is no question of withdrawing security. Security review exercises are conducted routinely and take various factors into consideration, including whether a protectee is staying in residence in the state or not.

During the latest security review, it was decided to rationalise security of various protectees and as many as 400 security personnel were assigned other tasks. Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal has directed the state police to provide adequate security cover whenever Navjot Sidhu visits the State," he said.

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