Aam Aadmi Party has made it clear that Lok Sabha MP from Sangrur Bhagwant Mann will contest Punjab assembly polls against deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal. The Delhi chief minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal made this announcement on Sunday. Bhagwant Mann will be fielded against Sukhbir Badal from Jalalabad assembly segment in the upcoming state polls. If Sukhbir Badal shifts to another constituency, Bhagwant Mann will contest from that very assembly segment, AAP made it clear.
This move gives a clear signal that Bhagwant Mann is likely to be AAP's chief ministerial candidate in Punjab. AAP has a history of pitting its best candidate against the biggest name from the opposition camp. Arvind Kejriwal had made a similar move by contesting successfully against the then chief minister Sheila Dikshit. Arvind Kejriwal had also contested against Narendra Modi in 2014-general elections from Varanasi.
While the AAP made it clear that its most popular face in Punjab would take on the most powerful leader from ruling dispensation, the Shiromani Akali Dal was hesitant in declaring the assembly segment for the incumbent deputy CM.
The AAP has planned to intensify its engagement with the voters in the constituency of Sukhbir Badal to send a strong message that the party is serious in replicating its electoral victory attained in Delhi.
Arvind Kejriwal is likely to address 21 rallies in Punjab over next 10 days.