Chandigarh | Jagran Politics Desk: Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced that Bhagwant Singh Mann will be party Chief Ministerial candidate for the forthcoming assembly elections in Punjab. Addressing the media, Kejriwal said that Mann was selected as AAP's CM face based on public votes.

Kejriwal said that Mann - a two-time MP from Sangrur - received more than 93 per cent of the votes while Congress' Navjot Singh Sidhu got 3 per cent. The Delhi Chief Minister also said that some votes were in his favour but they declared invalid as he is not in the Punjab CM race.

"Aam Aadmi Party Lok Sabha MP from Sangrur constituency in Punjab Bhagwant Mann will be the party's chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming Assembly elections," Kejriwal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Last week, Kejriwal had launched a mobile number - 7074870748 - and had asked the people of Punjab to give their opinion for the CM face for AAP till 5 pm on January 17 either by recording their voice and sending text or WhatsApp messages. Kejriwal then had said that Mann would be his choice for the top post, but insisted that the people of Punjab should make their decision themselves.

"Bhagwant Mann is my younger brother. He is a tall leader of the AAP. I had said he should be made the chief minister, but he said people should be asked first. He said the practice of deciding the name of the chief ministerial candidate in a closed-door meeting should be stopped," he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Assembly elections in Punjab will be held in a single phase on February 20. The fate of the candidates will be declared on March 10.

In the previous elections in 2017, the Congress had emerged as a clear victor, winning 77 seats as it ousted the Akali Dal-BJP government after 10 years. The AAP had emerged as the second-largest party winning 20 seats in 117-member Punjab Legislative Assembly.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma