Bhagwant Mann, Sangrur MP and AAP’s face for the Punjab polls, is set to become the next Chief Minister with the party poised for a historic verdict in the state.
Mann won from Sangrur district’s Dhuri assembly constituency by a huge margin of 58,206 votes beating Congress’ Dalvir Singh Goldy.
On January 18, Mann was announced as AAP’s CM candidate. The party claimed that the decision to make Mann as the CM face was taken after a telephonic poll was conducted.
AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said of the total responses, 93.3 per cent wanted Mann as the CM.
Born in Satoj village of Sangrur in 1973, Mann started his career as a comedian. He began his political career in 2011 with the Punjab Peoples Party, which is led by Manpreet Singh Badal. In 2012, he fought the elections from the Lehragaga constituency but lost.
He joined AAP in 2014 and contested the election from the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat. His importance in Punjab politics increased when he defeated the veteran leader of Punjab Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, who was then with Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
Mann has been elected to the Punjab Lok Sabha seat of Sangrur for two terms in a row since 2014.
Moreover, he gained popularity from his satires in TV show 'Jugnu Mast Mast'. He also featured in several other comedy shows.
This is AAP’s maiden victory in Punjab and a vast improvement from its performance in the 2017 elections when it had finished second behind Congress.
Congress went into the polls, battling factionalism and anti-incumbency. The party changed its Chief Minister in September last year even as the party's new state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu hinted about his own chief ministerial ambitions. However, Congress declared Charanjit Singh Channi as the first Dalit Chief Minister of Punjab, endorsing him for the chief ministerial face.
The Shiromani Akali Dal, which had broken off the alliance with the BJP over the three farm laws that were eventually repealed, tied up with Bahujan Samaj Party for the Assembly elections.
AAP is on course to three-fourths majority in Punjab having won 37 seats and is leading on 54 seats in 117 member assembly. Congress has won four seats and is leading on 15, SAD has won one seat and is leading on two seats, BJP has won one seat and is leading on one more and BSP is leading on one seat. The independents have won one seat.