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Punjab polls: Arvind Kejriwal snubs demand for Bhagwant Mann to be named CM candidate

🔴 Kejriwal made the comments when faced with vociferous demands from the party supporters present at the meeting in Mohali who interrupted his comments by raising slogans in favour of Mann.

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina | Mohali |
Updated: November 28, 2021 7:36:18 am
Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab unit president Bhagwant Mann during a press conference in Ludhiana. (Express file photo by Gurmeet Singh)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was non-committal on naming Bhgawant Mann as the chief ministerial face for Punjab Assembly elections at a public meeting here on Saturday and, in a snub to those demanding he be made the CM face, said that the priority of the workers should be to ensure that Punjab is saved and not to make someone minister or MLA.

Kejriwal made the comments when faced with vociferous demands from the party supporters present at the meeting in Mohali who interrupted his comments by raising slogans in favour of Mann.

The public meeting being held by Kejriwal in Mohali was attended by state president and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, state in-charge Jarnail Singh, Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema and other party MLAs. During the interaction, a demand was made by an elderly person that no candidate from outside Punjab would be acceptable to the supporters of AAP.

“You have many capable leaders in Punjab, including Bhagwant Mann, Harpal Cheema, Aman Arora, Jarnail Singh and others. The CM face should be from them and not from anybody outside the state or any industrialist,” the elderly person said even as cheers went up in the hall at the mention of Mann’s name.

Kejriwal was about to make his speech at the event when the discussion on CM face came up. “I assure you that the CM candidate will be from Punjab itself,” said Kejriwal and as he attempted to say something more, slogans were raised in favour of Mann and the AAP national convenor had to pause his comments. When the slogans did not abate for some time, Mann had to take up a mic and request for silence to hear out what the party supremo had to say. “If you love Punjab and if you love the party then please listen to him,” said Mann.

Kejriwal resumed his speech and virtually delivered a snub by referring to another demand made by a worker for MLA ticket for someone in another constituency.

“I am a very small man. I am smaller than you in age as well as experience but I have faced many struggles. This country has faced a lot of problems by catching hold of one person or the other. Every time there has been deception. Now I can understand that you were asking for a ticket for someone. In sab chakkaron mein mat pado (Don’t get into all this). Have faith. Isko ticket de do, isko CM bana do, isko ye kar do, isko vo kar do, humein Punjab sudharna hai ya kisi ko mantri aur vidhayak banana hai (Give ticket to him, make that guy a CM, give him this, give him that. Are we to put Punjab back on rails or we are to make someone minister or MLA),” he asked as pin-drop silence descended in the hall.

He went on to say that each and every person in in AAP does not join to make someone minister or MLA, he comes to make a change. “Today people are not looking towards AAP with hope because they want to see someone being made minister or MLA. They are looking at AAP because good work has been done in Delhi,” said Kejriwal.

Kejriwal added that people of Punjab want good education for their children, they want good health facilities and 24-hour electricity. “Vo kisi ki poonchh pakadne se nahi hone wali (That is not going to happen by latching on to someone’s tail). Always fight for Punjab. Not for one person or party. If tomorrow AAP strays from its path then leave it too. No need to remain in AAP lifelong.”

There has been a widespread demand by supporters of Mann that he should be named the CM candidate for the 2022 polls but the AAP leadership has dithered to do so.

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