Navjot Sidhu seeks apology from Pranab, officials

July 3rd, 2008 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Amritsar, July 3 (IANS) Member of Parliament Navjot Singh Sidhu Thursday asked Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to seek an apology from External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and initiate breach of privilege proceedings against officials for ignoring him during a function here last week. In a letter to the Lok Sabha speaker, Sidhu pointed out that the minister and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) officials committed a blatant breach of protocol by not allowing him to address the minister or even join the minister and other dignitaries on the dais during the inauguration of a new regional passport office here.

The passport office was inaugurated Saturday by Mukherjee in the presence of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

While Mukherjee, Badal and others sat on the dais, Sidhu was made to sit among the audience. He is the sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of the Lok Sabha from Amritsar.

“The treatment meted out to me as a public representative and collective voice of over 1.5 million people of Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency is outrageously insulting and denigrating,” Sidhu said in his strongly worded complaint.

He lodged a strong protest against the conduct of ministry officials who, he claimed, lowered the stature of an MP by excluding him from discharging his role.

Sidhu demanded breach of privilege proceedings against the MEA officials and an unconditional apology from the minister.

The former cricketer turned MP said he had worked hard to get the passport office sanctioned for Amritsar.

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