Punjab Assembly elections: AAP names Bhagwant Mann as its CM candidate for upcoming polls

Last week, the Delhi chief minister had asked people to suggest names of their preferred choice for chief ministerial candidate, even as he indicated that his own preference was Mann.

FP Staff January 18, 2022 12:40:25 IST

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party's national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced Bhagwant Mann as its chief ministerial candidate ahead of the Punjab Assembly elections which are scheduled in February.

The announcement was made by Kejriwal in Mohali. "Bhagwant Mann is my younger brother. Had I named him, people would have raised questions. But we asked people and we received more than 21 lakh responses. All surveys predicted AAP is winning elections. Many respondents had suggested my name. 93.3 percent of respondents have suggested Bhagwant Mann's name for CM face," Kejriwal said announcing Mann's name.

To this, Mann had told reporters, "Kejriwal had suggested his name be declared as the CM face. I suggested the people of the state should be asked. Kejriwal agreed to my suggestion. The people will be assured of their choice."

According to a party leader, AAP received around 22 lakh responses during its campaign to select the face of its CM.

Harpal Singh Cheema and Bhagwat Mann were the two prominent names for consideration for the next CM face of the party in Punjab. The people of Punjab were asked to give their choice through SMS, WhatsApp or voice message on a mobile number provided by the Aam Aadmi Party till 5 pm on Monday.

Last week, the Delhi chief minister had asked people to suggest names of their preferred choice for chief ministerial candidate, even as he indicated that his own preference was Mann.

Kejriwal had reportedly said that his party had decided to field its Punjab unit chief, Bhagwant Mann, as its chief ministerial candidate, but Mann had said that it should be the people’s choice.

Who is Bhagwant Mann?

Bhagwant Mann is an actor-turned-politician and an MP from Sangrur in Punjab's electorally decisive Malwa belt.  He has been a member of AAP since 2014 and had contested on an AAP ticket in the general elections in 2014, and had gone on to become a Lok Sabha MP. From 2012 to 2014, he had been a member of Manpreet Badal's People's Party of Punjab.

As per The Quint, Mann is a well-known Punjabi comedian and actor with a reasonably clean image and is seen as 'outside the political elite', which has become increasingly popular.

Mann has been known to be somewhat of a loose cannon. Often been accused by his Opponents as arriving at pressers in an inebriated state, Mann has been controversy’s favourite child, reports India Today.

Thanking everyone for praying for him, Mann said a dual responsibility has been put on his shoulders as he has been named not only by the party but also by the people of the state. “Earlier when I used to meet people across Punjab they used to laugh after seeing me (referring to his works as a comedian) but now they weep and beg that Punjab be brought back to its pristine state of yore,” he said.

In the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls, Congress won an absolute majority in the state by winning 77 seats and ousted the SAD-BJP government after 10 years.

In the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls, Congress won an absolute majority in the state by winning 77 seats and ousted the SAD-BJP government after 10 years. Aam Aadmi Party emerged as the second-largest party by winning 20 seats in 117-member Punjab Legislative Assembly. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) could only manage to win 15 seats while the BJP secured 3 seats.

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