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Arvind Kejriwal asks people to name AAP’s Punjab CM candidate

Launching his party’s “Janata chunegi apna CM” drive, he announced a cellphone number on which people can name their choice, via voice or text messages, till 5 pm on January 17.

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina | New Delhi |
Updated: January 14, 2022 12:58:14 am
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (Express File Photo)

AHEAD OF the Punjab elections, AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday asked the people of the state to decide his party’s chief ministerial candidate.

Launching his party’s “Janata chunegi apna CM” drive, he announced a cellphone number on which people can name their choice, via voice or text messages, till 5 pm on January 17.

Kejriwal said 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.

Addressing a press conference here, flanked by party leaders Mann and Raghav Chadha, the Delhi Chief Minister also clarified that he was “not in the competition”.

“Often, it is seen that relatives of politicians are made the CM face in some parties. Bhagwant Mann is very dear to us, he is my younger brother… 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,” said Kejriwal.

Asked about the possibility of another leader besides Mann emerging as the people’s choice, Kejriwal said, “I would like the public to choose their own candidate. If anybody else is chosen, Bhagwant will go to that person’s house and bring him forward.”

Mann said Kejriwal had suggested that he (Mann) should be declared the CM candidate. “I, however, suggested that the people of the state should be asked. Kejriwal agreed to my suggestion. If the people’s choice is picked, then people will be assured of their choice,” said Mann.

“I am the party’s loyal soldier. I will perform any duty entrusted to me. If someone asks me to paste posters or wave the party symbol at a chowk, I will happily do so. For me, Punjab is important, and the CM (Arvind Kejriwal) has reposed a lot of trust in me,” he said.

In June last year, Kejriwal had said his party would announce a CM candidate from the Sikh community.

Responding to a question on whether West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee could mediate for a pre-poll alliance between AAP and farmers’ outfits, Kejriwal said: “For us, Punjab is important. For the progress of Punjab, all forces should join hands. If anybody wants to bring them together, then we have no issue. All those who want Punjab’s progress should join hands”.

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