Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal will announce his party’s Chief Ministerial candidate for the Punjab assembly elections today. The announcement will be made at 12 pm.
Mr Kejriwal had last week released a phone number and asked the people of Punjab to tell them who they want to see as AAP’s candidate for the top job. At the same press conference, he had said that the party was keen to give the responsibility to two-time MP Bhagwant Mann, but he himself suggested the idea of asking for people’s choice.
Mr Mann, AAP’s state president, represents the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat. He remained with the party even as AAP saw mass defection last year.
In 2018, Mr Mann had resigned from the post of party president after Arvind Kejriwal apologised to former Punjab minister and Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia for allegations against him for his involvement in the drug trade.
Mr Mann has often been called an alcoholic but claims to be only a social drinker.
Bhagwant Mann’s image as a leader has remained free of the taint of corruption. His lifestyle sans any ostentation and flamboyance has given him the image of a mass leader. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Mr Mann won his seat with the highest margin in the state.
Earlier today, a video shared by the Congress party on its Twitter handle featuring actor-philanthropist Sonu Sood triggered speculation as to who will be the Chief Ministerial face of the party in the upcoming Punjab assembly elections. The video includes a montage of Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s visuals with dramatic background music pitching him as the man for the CM’s job.
The Assembly polls in Punjab are scheduled to take place in a single phase on February 20. The votes will be counted on March 10.