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'People of Punjab want change': Mann reacts after AAP fields him from Dhuri seat

Mann was declared as the AAP's chief ministerial candidate for Punjab Assembly polls on January 18 by party's national convenor Arvind Kejriwal.

Published: 20th January 2022 11:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th January 2022 11:19 PM   |  A+A-

AAP leader Bhagwant Mann

AAP leader Bhagwant Mann (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

CHANDIGARH: Aam Aadmi Party's chief ministerial face Bhagwant Mann will contest the Punjab Assembly elections from the Dhuri assembly seat in Sangrur district.

The announcement was made by party's senior leader Raghav Chadha in Mohali on Thursday.

Mann was declared as the AAP's chief ministerial candidate for Punjab Assembly polls on January 18 by party's national convenor Arvind Kejriwal.

"The AAP has decided that our CM candidate for 2022 Punjab elections will contest the polls from Dhuri constituency," Chadha told reporters.

Forty-eight-year-old Mann, a comedian-turned-politician, is a two-time Lok Sabha MP from the Sangrur parliamentary constituency.

The Dhuri assembly seat, which is a part of the Sangrur parliamentary constituency, is presently represented by Congress MLA Dalvir Singh Goldy.

Chadha said the people of Dhuri will "shower their love and bless" Mann and make him victorious with a record margin.

"This constituency is not only of the AAP's CM face but also of the person who will become the chief minister of Punjab," he said.

Reacting to the announcement on his official Facebook page, Mann said he was happy that he would contest the elections from Dhuri.

Chadha claimed that all opinion polls and surveys suggest that the AAP is going to form the next government in Punjab.

"People of Punjab want change," he said and alleged that the Congress and the Akalis "looted" the state in the last 50 years.

"People want to give a chance to Arvind Kejriwal's model of governance," he added.

About Mann fighting the polls from Dhuri, Chadha said it was a part of the party's "political strategy".

However, he was quick to add that the people of Punjab love Mann so much that if he fights from any constituency, he will win from there.

Chadha, who is the AAP's Punjab co-incharge, said Mann will campaign for the party throughout the state.

He said it was only the AAP which is going to the February 20 state assembly polls with the chief ministerial face.

"The Akalis have not done it. The Congress cannot announce it because of infighting. The BJP and Captain Saab (Amarinder Singh who leads Punjab Lok Congress) are not in the race. Even the Sanyukt Samaj Morcha has also not officially announced the CM face," Chadha said.

Voting for Punjab's 117 Assembly seats is scheduled for February 20.

The counting will take place on March 10.

Chadha on Thursday asked Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi to explain huge sums of cash recovered in raids by the ED from premises linked to his relative.

Chadha, who is AAP's Punjab co-in-charge, alleged that Channi's nephew had amassed “crores” of rupees and other assets in the past three-four months.

The ED on Wednesday had said seized cash amounting to over Rs 10 crore, including about Rs 8 crore from a relative of Channi, during raids conducted in connection with an anti-money laundering investigation against illegal sand-mining operations in Punjab.

In a statement, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had said "incriminating" documents related to "illegal" sand mining and property transactions, mobile phones, gold worth more than Rs 21 lakh, and a Rolex watch worth Rs 12 lakh were also seized during the searches that ended on Wednesday.

"From where did this money come," Chadha said, talking to reporters in Mohali.

"It is said that Channi's nephew did not have this much money four months back," he said.

"Only in 111 days (Channi's tenure as CM before the model code of conduct came into force) if one nephew amassed Rs 10 crore then you can imagine how much wealth was made by the rest of the relatives. And think how much money Channi would have received," alleged Chadha.

"And imagine how much he would have earned if he had remained the Chief Minister for five years."

"Channi saab left the Badals and captain sahib (Amarinder Singh) behind," he said.

"The Congress party has been exposed today. Channi saab used to say I am an 'aam aadmi' and belong to a poor family. Today, Channi sahib's 'ghareebi' stands exposed before the people of Punjab," he said.

Channi on Wednesday had accused the BJP-led central government of hatching a conspiracy to trap him in the case of which raids were a part.

Channi had alleged that the BJP was taking revenge for return of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the state without attending the rallies he was scheduled to attend.

Modi was forced to return to the national capital from Punajb's Ferozepur earlier in the month due to concerns related to a security breach.

Channi had also attacked Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal during his address.

He said Kejriwal called it a "political vendetta" when the son of his brother-in-law was held in 2018 for alleged irregularities in road and sewer development projects.



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