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CHANDIGARH: A day after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal declared that he would announce the party’s CM face next week, he said on Thursday that the name will be decided on the basis of the feedback of the people of Punjab. This is probably the first time that any political party has done this.
Kejriwal launched a phone number, 7074870748, as part of the ‘Janata chunegi apna CM’ drive for people to give their suggestions till 5 pm on January 17. While terming Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann as the “tallest leader of the party” in the state, he said that if people propose the name of someone from outside, Mann himself will go to invite such a person, but added that he (Kejriwal) was not in the race for the top post.
Speaking to mediapersons, Kejriwal said, “I asked Bhagwant Mann, should we declare your name? But he said that we should ask the public Sir. I will take up the responsibility that people decide for me. Bhagwant is very dear to us, he is like my younger brother. He is the tallest leader of AAP. Otherwise, it is seen that other parties pick their kin as the CM contender.”
Referring to various surveys indicating that AAP would emerge as the largest political group with 57-60 seats, the Delhi CM said, “Two steps more and we will make it. I appeal to people of Punjab and the party volunteers to give the final push. It is certain that the CM face of the party will be the next CM. It is for the first time that a party will take feedback from people about this.”
Kejriwal said his personal choice regarding the CM face was not important, but public choice was. He, however, evaded the question on whether there was consensus on Bhagwant Mann’s name within the party.
“For us, Punjab is important, and we will go by the choice of the people. We have left the decision to 3 crore Punjabis,” the Delhi CM said.
Addressing the gathering after this, Mann said, “When I was asked if I should be projected for the top post, I said that usually the choice of the CM is thrust upon people. A decision is taken without asking the voters. The CM should be of people’s choice – it is a big responsibility. He has to stand by people in thick and thin… I am a loyal soldier of the party and if given the duty to put up posters or wave the broom at a city crossing, I am willing to do all of that. I have seen fame (as an artist) in the past.”

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