From Comedy Show to Playing Musical Chairs in Pb Politics, Who Will Have the Last Laugh?

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The political race in Punjab is heating up. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which hopes to rake in a win in the state these elections, recently named Bhagwant Mann as its chief ministerial candidate for Punjab, who filed his nomination papers today. Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu also filed his nomination papers.

Mann’s selection was done through a public poll, and Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM and AAP chief, announced Mann’s name at an event in Chandigarh, saying 93% of people voted in favour of the Sangrur MP via phone calls, SMS, and WhatsApp messages during the party’s special ‘Janta Chunegi Apna CM’ drive last week.

As a result, the AAP has emerged as the only major party contesting the assembly elections to have announced its chief ministerial candidate. The election for Punjab’s 117 Assembly seats is scheduled for February 20, with the results announced on March 10.

‘People Laughed at Me, Now They Cry and Say, Save Us’: Mann

Mann has had a eventful journey, as a comedian-turned-politician. “When they saw my face, they laughed. But now they cry out, “Save us!” “Mann has said previously, according to reports.

Mann has been involved in a number of controversies in the past, most notably those involving alcoholism. He has been accused by his detractors of arriving at events drunk on several occasions since he began his political career with the Aam Aadmi Party. In 2015, a video of Bhagwant Mann allegedly drunkenly attending a condolence meeting in Faridkot went viral.

Another video of Mann’s Lok Sabha speech went viral in 2019, with people wondering if he was under the influence of alcohol. The BJP then demanded that the MP be subjected to a narcotics test.

During a public rally in 2019, Bhagwant Mann declared that he would no longer consume liquor. Kejriwal, who was present on stage, then congratulated him on his decision. Both the Congress and the BJP, however, have repeatedly accused Bhagwant Mann of failing to keep his promise.

Laughter Challenge With Sidhu

Mann worked in the Punjab entertainment industry for several years before entering politics. His first film, ‘Kachheri,’ was released in 1994. However, Bhagwant Mann rose to national prominence after appearing in the late-2000s stand-up comedy show ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge.’ Navjot Singh Sidhu, the president of the Punjab Congress, was one of the show’s judges.

Manpreet Singh Badal’s People’s Party of Punjab fielded Bhagwant Mann in the Lehra assembly constituency in 2011. He was defeated in the election. Mann then joined the AAP, which nominated him as its candidate from Sangrur in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Mann won the election and got reelected in 2019.

Strong Pitch in Malwa

By fielding its chief ministerial face Bhagwant Mann from Punjab’s Dhuri constituency, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seems to be sending a strong message to voters by installing party heavyweights as nominees in the politically significant Malwa region.

The Dhuri assembly segment falls under Mann’s Lok Sabha constituency Sangrur and had helped him garner the maximum number of votes in the 2019 general elections. Sangrur is divided into nine Vidhan Sabha segments of which three are reserved for Scheduled Caste category candidates. This has worked in the favour of Mann because of his popularity cutting across caste lines despite being a Jat Sikh himself.

In the last two assembly elections, of 2012 and 2017, the Congress had won the seat. But in the 2017 elections, AAP had made strong inroads and the party’s candidate Jasvir Singh Jassi Sekhon was defeated by Congress MLA Dalvir Singh Goldy by a slender margin of 2,811 votes. The seat falls in the all-important Malwa region. By fielding Mann, AAP is sending a message that it is trying to unseat the Congress from several segments in Malwa.

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