AAP should declare CM face early, based on ground realities, says Mann
Sangrur Punjab Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) president and local MP Bhagwant Mann has said that the party not announcing a chief minister candidate for the Punjab assembly polls in 2022, early enough, was a big hurdle for party workers in their daily interactions with the public.
“The party should know the ground reality and listen to volunteers before declaring the CM candidate for Punjab,” Mann said in an interaction with a select group of reporters at his residence.
After Delhi chief minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal’s Gurdaspur visit on August 26, Mann has been camping at his Sangrur residence. Here, an average of around 1,000 workers a day, including party MLAs and ticket aspirants for assembly polls, have been meeting him. “A large proportion of these people see me as CM candidate,” he claimed
Mann added, “AAP is a party that has risen from the grassroots. When it comes to naming the CM face in Punjab, then too the party must decide on the ground reality of workers’ demand. When we meet people, we have no answer to their question of our CM face. MLAs have also informed the party high command about the issue.”
Mann claimed that AAP volunteers had appealed to the high command to declare him as the CM candidate. To a question on how other parties were faring, the two-time MP said, “The BJP’s culture is to contest elections without a CM face, Punjab has a different culture. I think the party should declare a CM face for the state. If AAP makes an announcement on CM candidate, volunteers will work with four-fold enthusiasm. I have also been a volunteer, so I know this.”
On whether he has taken up the feelings of workers with the party high command, Mann said, “It is my responsibility to inform the high command about ground reality; they can also check facts. Volunteers want to work with more commitment, but they wish for a candidate of their own choice.”
On AAP inducting the rich and the affluent into its fold, even as it claims to be a common man’s party, he said, “Some people are joining the party, but tickets will be distributed after asking the public.”