This Article is From Jan 27, 2017

Punjab Elections 2017: Arvind Kejriwal's AAP May Have Found Its Face For Chief Minister in Punjab

Bhagwant Mann, 44, is being projected by AAP for Punjab Chief Minister.


  • Manish Sisodia said someone from Punjab to be Chief Minister if AAP wins
  • Bhagwant Mann, a former comic and very popular in Punjab, fits the bill
  • Mr Mann to contest from Jalalabad seat against Akali Dal's Sukhbir Badal
Bathinda: Bhagwant Mann for Punjab Chief Minister? The Aam Aadmi Party lawmaker who made headlines and earned the wrath of his colleagues last year by live-streaming his arrival at parliament, is drawing massive crowds while campaigning across the state and his party's leaders are reportedly weighing projecting him for the state's top job.

AAP's Manish Sisodia recently said only someone from Punjab will be Chief Minister if the party wins the assembly elections, a disclaimer prompted by speculation that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal could shift to that state. Delhi lawmaker and Lambi candidate Jarnail Singh told NDTV that AAP's Chief Minister will be a "turban-wearing Sikh."

Bhagwant Mann, 44, a former comic and very popular in Punjab, fits the bill. In a measure of his party's faith in him, he is also taking on Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal of the Akali Dal for the Jalalabad assembly seat, in what is pegged as the biggest battle in Punjab.  

On the campaign trail Mr Mann is now definitely keen to project that he is ready for a larger role. He refuses to crack jokes on cue or perform the limericks which made him a hit with the media.

When asked by this reporter whether he could be projected by the party as presumptive Chief Minister, Mr Mann did not reject the possibility. "I never said I will be Chief Minister but the public is there. They are saying..what they want. Our leadership has said they will decide later. Let us wait."

"Nothing has been decided yet," a senior AAP leader said in Delhi, but admitted, "there is amazing craze for Mann among voters."

What may be holding the AAP leadership back from announcing Bhagwant Mann as its Chief Ministerial candidate is the negative impact of his parliament live stream. He was suspended for a day and faced ferocious attacks from rival parties like the Akali Dal and Congress for exposing parliament to a security threat. His party, however, stood by him through the entire episode.

Bhagwant Mann's Sangrur parliamentary seat was one of four that Arvind Kejriwal's party won in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The party had won all its Lok Sabha seats from Punjab and now hopes to replicate there, its sweep of Delhi in 2015.