Bhagwant Mann is my younger brother, who has sacrificed a lot for Punjab, said Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday amid speculations that the Aam Aadmi Party may declare its Punjab president and its sole Lok Sabha MP as their chief ministerial face.
There are also speculations that AAP is in touch with Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu. However, Kejriwal dubbed it as a “hypothetical question”, and assured that his party will give a “better CM face”.
Mann was spotted at the press conference on Thursday, almost a month after remaining out to sight, even as the 2022 election campaign in the state heated up with the recent crisis in Congress that saw Charanjit Singh Channi replace Amarinder Singh as chief minister.
“There is no tussle between me and Kejriwal.. The party will decide the CM face,” Mann clarified. News18 had been trying to contact Mann for over a week on multiple phone numbers he uses but without luck. An aide declined an informal meeting with the leader too, saying he was in his constituency Sangrur.
Upon reaching Sangrur last week, News18 was told that Mann is in Chandigarh but is in no mood to meet anyone. “If the Congress can make Channi the CM, why can’t AAP project Mann? He is the most popular leader of the party,” an aide at Mann’s office in Sangrur had asked.
Some said Mann has been promised to deputy CM’s chair if the AAP wins. “But then Mann’s question is — deputy CM to whom? There is no answer,” an aide said.
In Sangrur, posters of Mann with Arvind Kejriwal promising free power dominate the streets. “There is an undercurrent in AAP’s favour in Punjab. People are sitting tight to vote for us. But Mann needs to be the face,” the aide added.
With inputs from News18