The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has named Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann as the party’s chief ministerial candidate in Punjab 2022 elections. With this, AAP becomes the first political party to declare its CM face in the multi-cornered contest.
With Congress in turmoil over Navjot Singh Sidhu still pushing for chief ministerial stakes, Punjab is likely to see more mess in Congress in the lead up to the ballot box.
Arvind Kejriwal – who was touted himself harbouring ambitions to lead the state – has done a huge favour by clearing the air.
This will now shift all eyes on AAP – on to Bhagwant Mann – who is by any measure – not a very revolutionary, visionary political leader and thus – is prone to fall.
He is likely to play safe and thus his proclamations will be – predictable, like most Indian politicians.
There is one exception – an asset the Congress party would be continue dealing until the ballot box counting completes – the Navjot Singh Sindhu.
His outbursts – his followers will say announcements – are most unpredictable and thus can cause the party to do many self-goals.
If Sidhu’s profile is laden with controversial utterances, the AAP’s Punjab CM face Bhagwant Mann has had his own controversies including an alleged incident of a shoe thrown at him in Melbourne, Australia in March 2017.
According to Pappa Sarpanch – an Indian Aussie living in Melbourne who allegedly threw the shoe at him, Bhagwant Mann’s sacrilegious act of visiting gurudwara while intoxicated and his complete disrespect of Badals and PM Modi infuriated him
Back then Pappa Sarpanch was quoted by the Indian Express saying:
“He hits out at Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who is a noble soul. He also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi. That made me angry. He has taken politics to a new low. Why is he making a mockery of politics? It is a serious business. He should behave like a leader,” he said.
The question is – has Bhagwant Mann learnt from his past and does he now behave like a leader?
The voters of Punjab will tell.
Navjot Sidhu will also keep the audiences entertained. His chess like moves will be no less than a thriller and if the party benefits from having him as state chief whose wishes to ‘king make’ are ‘unclearly’ given little or no weight – will make up the other comedy act.
Both actors – have their mentors sitting in Delhi. While Bhagwant will have his scripts glossed over by the ‘Natwar Lal’ of Indian politics (as some media persons call him in India), Sidhu’s scripts (unsure if he has ever had one) will be gleaned over by the real ‘Pappu’ of Indian politics – Rahul Gandhi who himself does not really know he exists or not.
If one were to look at his performances, Rahul’s existence, at best of times – is imaginary for the party unless of course he is used as a political “gun” to shoot the Hindu sentiment.
Among these comedians, the real players – newly recruited Manjinder Singh Sirsa for the BJP, Charnjit Channi for the Congress Party, Captain Amarinder Singh for Punjab Lok Congress and the Badals will offer their interludes.
The stages is now set for political comic relief in Punjab while electing a government to run the state for the next five years.
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