Sidhu's wife, Punjab minister spar over 2-day London trip

 A trip to London for an upcoming health conference has left a Punjab minister and his near-equivalent chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) squabbling over who should fly to the UK.

Denials apart, both the top functionaries are eager to attend the conference, but what has caused the rift is the invitation for the event.

The issue involves Punjab health minister Madal Mohan Mittal and his CPS (health) Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, wife of cricketer-turned MP Navjot Sidhu and a doctor by training.

Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, a first time BJP MLA who is known for her candid views, claims the organisers had sent invitation to her. which she forwarded to the principal secretary (health) Vini Mahajan for verification. She is now surprised to witness the turn of events which threaten her presence at the global event.

The two-day event is scheduled to begin on February 11. Despite the controversy, sources said the office of the health minister is maintaining that the British Healthcare organisers had approached the chief minister’s office which forwarded it to the health minister for consideration. But Dr Kaur is in no mood to retreat.

She has even solicited the support of Sukhbir Singh Badal, deputy chief minister of Punjab,   to address the dilemma. She has already met Sukhbir Badal to fix the problem, said sources.

However, Kaur refuses to admit that she wants to attend the conference merely to visit London as she had stayed there several times in past during her husband Navjot Sidhu’s stint in Indian cricket.   

She said her team has been working towards the presentation for the conference. The presentation will be made to showcase Punjab healthcare facilities besides highlighting future healthcare projects.

She informs that the CPS had met a few British healthcare officers during NRI Sammelan held in Chandigarh last month where an invite was extended to her for the conference.

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