The Aam Aadmi Party on Sunday announced its Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann as its candidate against deputy chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal in the Punjab assembly polls due early next year.
The announcement came in the form of a resolution floated by AAP convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal at a rally in Fazilka district’s Jalalabad town, from where Sukhbir is a two-time sitting MLA. Kejriwal later took to Twitter to announce the same.
Bhagwant Mann will fight election against Sukhbir Badal— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 20, 2016
Bhagwant Mann, who was introduced as Sukhbir’s electoral rival on the stage, dared Capt Amarinder Singh also to contest against Sukhbir Badal instead of his traditional Patiala constituency.
Mann said that Kejriwal had set this trend of challenging the top leader of a rival party by successfully contesting against the erstwhile Delhi chief minister Shiela Dixit.
Mann was elected to the Lok Sabha from Sangrur in 2014.
Silence on SYL
A charged Kejriwal with his rhetoric attack on the Akalis and the Congress, was however totally silent on the crucial SYL issue in his more than 20-minute speech.
As his party comrades H S Phoolka, Bhagwant Mann, Punjab convener Gurpreet Singh Waraich, Delhi MLA Jarnail Singh, ex-MLA Sukhpal Khaira, Lok Sabha member Prof. Sadhu Singh and others blamed chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Capt Amarinder Singh alike for the SYL imbroglio, the leadership did not convey the party’s own line of action in the wake of the apex court judgment for the canal and the Punjab government’s move to withdraw the SYL land back to the owners.
Kejriwal said he had survived the defamation suit filed by Bikram Majithia and he would not hesitate in saying again that Majithia was behind the drug menace in Punjab.
He said that the drug menace was on during the Congress regime of Captain Amarinder Singh also in 2002-07, and the Captain even “withdrew the probe against Majithia”. Kejriwal was referring to the Captain’s reservations against the CBI probe against Majitia that was demanded by his pary colleague Partap Singh Bajwa.
The AAP leadership reiterated their claim of winning more than 100 seats in the electoions to the 117-member Vidhan Sabha.
Also Read : Full list of other AAP candidates