Monday, Jan 30, 2023

‘Phone-in with your CM candidate’: AAP tries a Punjab in Gujarat

AAP carried out a similar exercise in Punjab ahead of Assembly polls, Bhagwant Mann was the choice of 93% of 21,59,437 responses

In case of Gujarat, where AAP is seriously contesting for the first time, it has no such leading face. (PTI)

Nowhere close to the winning mark in Gujarat, unlike in Punjab, AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal is nonetheless repeating a tactic in the western state that the party performed with much flourish in the Assembly elections here in the north.

On Saturday, addressing a press conference in Surat, Gujarat, Kejriwal announced a phone number and an email account, and asked people to send in suggestions for names for chief minister candidates, via SMS, WhatsApp, voice mail, or e-mail. The winner, or the party’s CM candidate, would be declared on November 4, he said.

“During the Punjab elections, we asked people as to who should be the next chief minister. People named Bhagwant Mann by a huge majority. And as per the wishes of the public, we announced his name,” Kejriwal added.

It was on January 13 that AAP asked the people of Punjab to name their choice for CM, similarly, till 5 pm on January 17. It was called “Janata chunegi apna CM” drive. On January 18, at a gala meeting of party workers, Kejriwal announced that 93 per cent of the people who responded had named Mann, then the MP from Sangrur, as their choice.

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The AAP convenor said they had got 21,59,437 responses in all. “Some named me, so we rejected those votes. Navjot Singh Sidhu (a Congress candidate) got 3.6 per cent votes,” he said.

Incidentally, this public vote was held a week after Kejriwal said Mann was the party’s choice. “We had decided that he should be our CM face. But Bhagwant said the CM face should not be chosen behind closed doors, and the people of Punjab should choose who the CM face should be,” he had said.

In case of Gujarat, where AAP is seriously contesting for the first time, it has no such leading face.

First published on: 29-10-2022 at 17:11 IST
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