mann: Bhagwant Mann: From political satirist to next chief minister | Chandigarh News

CHANDIGARH: After a landslide victory, Bhagwant Mann of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is set to become Punjab’s next chief minister. The satirist-turned-politician has been the party’s best bet with his oratorical skills resonating with voters beyond the party’s stronghold in the Malwa region. Learning a lesson from the last assembly election, the AAP had announced Mann as its CM-choice after a telephone poll marked his popularity.
An avid follower of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, Mann, 48, invariably wears his signature yellow turban. Before entering politics, Mann worked in the Punjab entertainment industry for several years after his first film in 1994. Lately, however, he has been trying to shake off the image of a professional satirist.
Mann was frequently targeted by his rivals for alleged alcoholism, to which the AAP leadership responds that there are no other charges to hold Mann against. The Mann factor clicked for AAP despite Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s claims that AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal only used Mann as he himself could not find acceptability in Punjab.
After joining the Punjab People’s Party in 2011, Mann unsuccessfully contested the 2012 assembly elections in Lehra. He stepped into the limelight by joining the AAP and winning the Lok Sabha election in 2014 in Sangrur and managed to survive the internal AAP rumblings in Punjab thanks to his unwavering loyalty to the Arvind party supremo Kejriwal, even as the three other MPs elected with him fell out of favor. He clinched the Sangrur seat with 633,237 votes in 2014 and became the only AAP representative in the Lok Sabha to retain the seat in 2019 (winning by 413,561 votes).
While Mann has always showcased his performance as an MP – citing the number of questions asked or his participation in debates in the House – he harbors ambitions to play a role in Punjab politics. Mann was reappointed PA state chairman ahead of Lok Sabha elections in January 2019. Mann had quit the party earlier in protest at Kejriwal’s apology to Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia in a defamation case. The party did not accept his resignation at the time.
Also in the last Assembly elections in 2017, Mann had made whirlwind tours of the state to hold back-to-back rallies. The party was only able to win 20 of the 117 seats, however. He himself had fought unsuccessfully against SAD Chairman Sukhbir Singh Badal in the latter’s stronghold in Jalalabad. Most of the AAP candidates in the Malwa region swear by Mann’s popularity and most of them sought to vote for Mann as the CM candidate. He won the assembly seat in Dhuri, which falls under his Lok Sabha constituency, by a margin of 58,206 votes.
Watch Bhagwant Mann set to lead AAP government in Punjab as party wins landslide