Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia set off a wave of speculation and allegations when he asked people at a public meeting of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) near SAS Nagar on Tuesday to vote for the AAP as if Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal would be the next CM of Punjab.
“Let me tell you one thing; you should assume Arvind Kejriwal is going to be the CM of Punjab. I am telling you the truth. Whoever becomes the CM, it is Kejriwal’s responsibility that the promises we are making are fulfilled,” Sisodia told the gathering in Balongi village of SAS Nagar (Mohali), neighbouring the state capital, Chandigarh. “I am guaranteeing that he will get those promises delivered…Your vote should be cast in Kejriwal’s name,” the party chief’s prime confidante said in his first visit to Punjab after the election date, February 4, was announced.
Even as the AAP later denied reports that Sisodia had virtually declared Kejriwal the CM candidate for Punjab, his comments made Punjab deputy CM and Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal tweet that Sisodia had “exposed AAP’s plan”.
The Congress and SAD have been accusing the AAP central leadership of trying to run the affairs of the Punjab unit from Delhi and “imposing outsiders on the people of the state”.
Sukhbir tweeted: “AAP has proven it does not trust Punjabis.” And then tweeted again: “With Haryanvi Kejriwal as CM candidate, what will be fate of SYL, Chd as well as Punjabi speaking areas of Punjab still left in Haryana?”
By asking people to vote for @ArvindKejriwal as CM of Pb, Manish Sisodia has exposed their plan. AAP has proven it does not trust Punjabis.— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) January 10, 2017
With Haryanvi Kejriwal as CM candidate, what will be fate of SYL, Chd as well as Punjabi speaking areas of Punjab still left in Haryana?— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) January 10, 2017
Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh called Kejriwal “a sneaky little fellow”.
AAP leaders, though, said Sisodia was only seeking votes in Kejriwal’s name. “Is Narendra Modi BJP’s CM candidate in UP if the party is fighting the election there in his name?” party spokesperson Deepak Bajpai said.
Kejriwal as CM of Delhi is committed to the people of the national capital, party leader Atishi Marlena too said. “He (Sisodia) said vote as if Kejriwal is going to be the CM. He did not say Kejriwal will be the CM... Kejriwal represents AAP. He represents credibility because he fulfilled several promises in Delhi. He is bringing that credibility to Punjab saying all promises made to the people of Punjab will be fulfilled... This is not same as saying that he will be the CM there,” she told a news TV channel.