Updated: January 21, 2022 8:22:54 am
Aam Aadmi Party’s chief ministerial face in Punjab, Bhagwant Mann, will fight the Assembly poll from Sangrur district’s Dhuri constituency.
Making this announcement in Chandigarh, AAP state co-incharge and Delhi MLA Raghav Chadha said that Mann had won majority of votes in Dhuri Assembly segment, which falls under Sangrur Parliamentary seat, during 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Forty-eight-year-old Mann, a comedian-turned-politician, is a two-time Lok Sabha MP from the Sangrur.
“We are quite sure that the people of Dhuri will shower their love on him this time too. This constituency is not only of the AAP’s CM face but also of the person who will become the chief minister of Punjab,” said Chadha.
Reacting to the announcement on his official Facebook page, Mann said he was happy that he would contest the elections from Dhuri.
Later, in a statement, Mann said, “Those living in and around Dhuri and Sangrur have had our backs in our sorrows and celebrated all our joys with us. AAP had gotten an edge in Dhuri with over 30,000 votes during 2014 Lok Sabha elections. I am certain that everyone here will shower even more love upon me this time”.
Best of Express Premium
He added that he used to live on rent in Sangrur till now. “Now I will rent a house in Dhuri as well to look after the people there,” said Mann
Earlier, when asked if Mann will fight from a second Assembly seat too, Chadha parried the question saying Mann will win from any seat in Punjab. “We do not want to tie Mann saheb down to any one place. So we have carefully chosen his constituency. We want to make maximum utilisation of his capabilities in the polls,” he said.
Chadha claimed that all opinion polls and surveys suggest that the AAP is going to form the next government in Punjab. “People of Punjab want change. People want to give a chance to Arvind Kejriwal’s model of governance,” he added.
Chadha added that AAP is the only party which will fight with a CM face as the rest of the parties — be it Congress, SAD, BJP or SSM — were in no position to declare their respective CM candidates.
“The Akalis have not done it. The Congress cannot announce it because of infighting. The BJP and Captain Saab (Amarinder Singh who leads Punjab Lok Congress) are not in the race. Even the Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (formed by farmer unions) has also not officially announced the CM face,” Chadha said.
When asked why Mann was not present at the time of this announcement, Chadha said he was busy campaigning in the field.
Dhuri is among the nine Assembly segments which constitute the Sangrur Lok Sabha constituency. The constituting segments include Lehra, Dhuri, Sunam, Dirba, Barnala, Malerkotla, Sangrur, Bhadaur and Mehal Kalan.
In 2017 Assembly polls, AAP won five of these nine Assembly segments in Sangrur, with three going to Congress and one to SAD.
This time, Mann will be pitted against Congress’s Dalvir Singh Goldy, who is the sitting MLA from Dhuri. Goldy had defeated his nearest rival, AAP candidate Jasvir Singj Jassi, in the 2017 Assembly polls by around 3,000 votes.
In 2019 general elections, Mann had won with a margin of over one lakh votes to retain the Sangrur seat. His nearest rival was Congress’ Kewal Dhillon. Mann was the only AAP MP out of the four elected in 2014 who managed to retain his seat. In 2014, he had defeated Akali stalwart and now an alliance partner of BJP, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, by a margin of over two lakh votes.
Dhuri also forms part of the Malwa region of Punjab, which had sent the maximum MLAs of AAP to Vidhan Sabha in 2017.
Out of the 20 MLAs elected on the party ticket, 18 were from Malwa. However, several of these MLAs defected to Congress over the past five years and one from Malwa and Doaba, each, have been given Congress tickets till now for the forthcoming elections.
🗞 Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access our in-depth reporting, explainers and opinions 🗞️
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.