Updated: January 19, 2022 6:11:46 am
THE AAM Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday announced Bhagwant Mann, its Punjab unit chief and Sangrur MP, as its chief ministerial candidate, saying that 93 per cent of the people who responded to its “Janata chunegi apna CM” drive named him as their choice.
On January 13, AAP had asked the people of Punjab to name their choice, via voice or text message, on a dedicated phone number, till 5 pm on January 17.
Announcing the results on Tuesday, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal said the party had received 21,59,437 votes. “93 per cent people voted for Bhagwant Mann as CM candidate. Some named me, so we rejected those votes. Navjot Singh Sidhu got 3.6 per cent votes,” he said.
Kejriwal had made clear last week that 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 should be the CM face,” he had said.
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ਦੁਆ ਕਰੋ ਕਿ ਸਲਾਮਤ ਰਹੇ ਹੌਂਸਲਾ ਇਨਹਾਂ ਦਾ,
ਇਹ ਚਿਰਾਗ਼ ਕਈ ਤੂਫਾਨਾਂ ਤੇ ਭਾਰੀ ਨੇਂ,
ਸਾਡੇ ਸਭ ਦੇ ਪਿਆਰੇ,ਪੰਜਾਬੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਸ਼ਾਨ ਵੱਡੇ ਵੀਰ ਸ.@BhagwantMann ਜੀ ਨੂੰ @ArvindKejriwal ਜੀ ਵਲੋਂ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦਾ ਮੁਖਮੰਤਰੀ ਚਿਹਰਾ ਐਲਾਨਣ ਤੇ ਦਿੱਲੀ ਮੁਬਾਰਕਾਂ..
ਆਪ ਲਿਆਓ,ਪੰਜਾਬ ਬਚਾਓ@AAPPunjab#SavePunjab#AAP#ArvindKejriwal pic.twitter.com/xRpt13RNgD
— Jarnail Singh (@JarnailSinghAAP) January 18, 2022
A comedian-turned-politician, Mann, 48, is a two-time MP from Sangrur. After Kejriwal announced his name in Mohali on Tuesday, an emotional Mann hugged him and could be seen wiping his tears.
Mann said he now had a “double responsibility”, as he had been named the CM candidate by his party and the people. “Earlier, when I used to meet people across Punjab, they would laugh (referring to his role as a comedian). But now, they weep and beg for Punjab’s former glory to be restored,” he said.
He asked everyone to work towards a Punjab where its people would rule, not “chamchas”. Mann said there are many sections of society who are sitting on protests atop mobile towers and water tanks, and their demands have to be addressed.
“The pen of those in authority should work for the welfare of the people of the state. We have been fed enough dreams about turning Punjab into London, Paris or California, but all that we want is to make Punjab what it was again,” he said.
Mann’s younger sister, Manpreet Kaur, a school teacher, said: “We were born in an ordinary household. We have seen happiness and sadness. We know the problems that the common man faces… We all know how dirty politics in Punjab has become and we feared that he may have made a mistake. But my brother said people can laugh only when their stomachs are full and he has to enter politics.”
The AAP is the first major political party to name its chief ministerial candidate for Punjab. The party’s decision to not name a chief ministerial candidate in the run-up to the 2017 polls was seen as one of the reasons why it did not do too well.
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