AAP opens phone line in Punjab to chose party’s CM candidate


The Aam Aadmi Party has come out with a novel way of deciding its chief ministerial candidate. AAP’s Lok Sabha MP Bhagwant Mann is doing the rounds in media and political circles. However, the choice of the CM has now been left to the people. A phone number has been launched where people can tell their choice of chief minister.

Kejriwal on Thursday announced that he was leaving the choice of the party’s CM face to the people of Punjab.

Announcing the launch of a number (70748 70748), Kejriwal said that people of Punjab should call/ message or WhatsApp and give their choice of CM candidate. “We want to leave the choice to the people of Punjab, who can give us their choice by January 17. Following this, the candidate who is chosen by the public, will be the CM face,” he said.

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Though Kejriwal said he had himself asked Mann to be the CM face, the latter wanted that the CM face should be chosen by the public and not imposed on them.

“I told Bhagwant that I should clear his name, but he gave me this idea that we should not choose the CM face in a closed- door meeting,” he said, adding “My personal choice is not important…public choice is supreme. But I will reiterate that I myself will not be the CM face,” he said.

Mann’s supporters, however, termed it a political stunt by the party to get public validation for their choice. “His candidature for the CM face of party is almost certain,” said his close associate, adding that the public would chose only him. “Even on Wednesday, during door-to-door campaigning at Kharar, public reaction and love for Bhagwant Mann was phenomenal and the party top brass saw it firsthand,” he said.

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Mann, who was sitting with Kejriwal, endorsed this statement and said, “I am a loyal party worker and I will perform any duty entrusted to me by the party. I will even paste posters or wave the party symbol (jhadu) if the party so wants. For me it is more important that the CM trusts me,” he said.