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Bhagwant Mann Named Aam Aadmi Party's CM Face for Punjab Polls

The state of Punjab is slated to go to polls on 20 February.

Updated

Video Producers: Maushmee Singh, Fuzaila Khan

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) President Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday, 18 January, declared Bhagwant Mann as the party's chief ministerial candidate for the Punjab ahead of the Assembly elections in the state.

Over 93.3 percent people voted for Bhagwant Mann as the CM candidate in a survey conducted by AAP, Kejriwal announced at a press conference on Tuesday.

"AAP has given me a very big responsibility. Our first step is to form govt in Punjab. Ki hoya je patjhad aayi, tu agli rutt vich yakeen rakhi… Main labh ke leyauna haan kiton kalmaan, tu phullan jogi jameen rakhi (So what if there is autumn, have faith in the next season. I have brought cuttings of plants, you keep your fields ready),” Mann was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

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Everyone Should Work Towards Making Punjab a Better Place: Mann

Adding that there is a lot of hard work ahead, Mann said that everyone should work towards making Punjab a “better place” and tweeted that with "each and every step" forward, he will make the citizens of Punjab proud.

He said he had a dual responsibility to his party and the state.

“Earlier when I used to meet people across Punjab they used to laugh after seeing me (referring to his works as a comedian) but now they cry and say save us,” said Mann.

Earlier, Kejriwal said, "It is clear that AAP will win the Punjab election. In a way, the person chosen as the chief ministerial candidate is the next chief minister of Punjab."

Stating that "for the first time in India's history, the people will decide who their chief minister (CM) candidate should be," Arvind Kejriwal had, on 13 January, asked the people of the state to choose the party's CM face.

Announcing a phone number, Kejriwal had urged the people of Punjab to WhatsApp, SMS, or call them any time until 5 pm on 17 January to state who they wanted to be the AAP's CM candidate.

Over 21 lakh people had cast their vote in the AAP's survey. While about 3 percent of the votes were in favour of Congress's Navjot Singh Sidhu, a few that were in favour of Kejriwal had been considered invalid, the AAP president indicated at the press conference on Tuesday.

"I congratulate Sardar Bhagwant Mann on being declared CM face of AAP in Punjab. Whole Punjab is looking upto AAP as a hope. Its a huge responsibility and I am sure Bhagwant will bring back smile on the face of every Punjabi (sic)," Kejriwal tweeted.

The state of Punjab is slated to go to the polls on 20 February. The AAP's main competitor in the state, the ruling Congress party, has not declared any CM candidate yet.

However, a video posted by the Congress on Monday suggested that the party might advance Chief Minister Charanjit Channi as its candidate for the post.

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