Chandigarh | Jagran Politics Desk: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday remained non-committal on revealing the party's Chief Ministerial candidate for the upcoming assembly elections in Punjab as he indicated that his own preference for the post is state unit president Bhagwant Mann.

Speaking to reporters, Kejriwal said that the people of Punjab would decide the AAP's CM face as he launched a mobile number on which voters can give their feedback by 5 pm till January 17 by recording their voice, sending SMS or WhatsApp.

"This is happening in India, probably for the first time after 1947, a party is asking the public to tell us who should be the CM face. By calling, or through Whatsapp messaging on the number 70748 70748, you can give your suggestions by 5 pm on January 17. Based on the suggestions, we will choose our CM candidate. My personal choice is not important, public choice is important," Kejriwal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

"Bhagwant Mann is very dear to me, he is like my younger brother, I was also sitting in the room saying that we should make Bhagwant Mann the Chief Ministerial candidate, but he said that no, we should ask people. This ritual of deciding the Chief Ministerial candidate in closed doors should be stopped," he said.

It should be noted that the Delhi Chief Minister in June last year had announced that AAP's CM face for the Punjab assembly elections 2022 will be from the Sikh community and said that the "entire Punjab will be proud of him".

Meanwhile, Kejriwal, during the media briefing, also ruled himself out in the race. "No, Arvind Kejriwal is not in this race, let me clarify I am not in it," Kejriwal was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Kejriwal also said that AAP "is emerging as the largest party in different surveys conducted to assess which party should win maximum votes in upcoming Punjab Assembly elections".

"It is almost decided that AAP will come to power in Punjab. I want to request all my volunteers to give one last push. I want to request Punjab voters to give lots of votes. We should win seats above 80 instead of 60 seats," he added.

Punjab assembly polls are scheduled to be held in a single phase on February 14. The results will be announced on March 10.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma