The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal during the party’s Jalalabad rally on Sunday announced fielding Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann against Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal, who also happens to be the Deputy Chief Minister of the state.
The announcement thrilled the party workers in general and Bhagwant’s followers in particular. It was all evident with the fact that within minutes the social networking platforms got flooded with the reactions, maximum in the favour of the decision.
While a majority of euphoric AAP followers termed the announcement as a major challenge for Sukhbir, claiming that it was a risk-free move of Kejriwal as Bhagwant is already an MP and even if he loses against Sukhbir Singh Badal in any way, there would be no impact of it on his membership in the Parliament.
The masses are absolutely right in their observation but they apparently could not go ahead to understand the card which AAP chief played in fact. Everyone in the state knows that comedian-turned-politician Bhagwant, who is also the campaign committee chairman of the AAP in Punjab, is quite ambitious about his career in the field of politics. This was also quoted at times by the activists and leaders of Manpreet Singh Badal’s political outfit- People’s Party of Punjab (PPP), till Manpreet merged it with the Congress, a few months back. They would have better experience than anyone else as Bhagwant had left the PPP, where he was the chief of youth wing, to contest Parliament polls 2014 of the symbol of ‘broom’ after losing Lehragaga Vidhan Sabha seat in 2012 on the symbol of ‘kite’.
Like many others in his party, he too rightfully dreams about reaching the chair of Chief Minister and at times his slogan-raising fan following has demanded from Kejriwal to project him as the CM candidate of AAP. Interestingly, despite the fact that voices firmly reached Kejriwal’s ear, he didn’t opt to react till date.
Riding high over his record victory in 2014 Parliamentary polls from Sangrur seat, with also finding himself one of the top-most crowd-pullers of the party, Bhagwant had started expressing his feelings to contest against Sukhbir for past some time and finally, Kejriwal approved it on Sunday by making an official announcement in this regard and that too in Jalalabad, a constituency which Sukhbir Singh Badal represents in Vidhan Sabha.
If one goes into deep analysis of the move, it may make one understand the astuteness of Kejriwal, who showed the door to many of the foundation pillars of AAP, including Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, after his party won 67 of total 70 seats in Delhi assembly polls. Membership of the two of the total four AAP MPs from Punjab-Dharamveer Gandhi and Harvinder Singh Khalsa-is also put under suspension as the two had objected to some of the party policies and accused Kejriwal of dithering away from the basic principles.
Going by the party history, it would hardly be incorrect if one opines that fielding Bhagwant against Sukhbir was a ‘masterstroke’ of the AAP supremo as it has ensured him to remain in a win-win situation.
If Bhagwant wins, that doesn’t seem to be plain sailing as Sukhbir is also known for being master of micro-management in elections, it would give a matchless boost to the party with a high profile seat coming into its kitty. On the other hand, if Bhagwant remains unsuccessful in the contest, no doubt, to his content there will be no change in his status as an MP, but it will kill his desire to become the Chief Minister.
So, there should be no prejudice against anyone reading between the lines that by fielding Bhagwant against Sukhbir, the AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal has tried to kill two birds with one stone. In any case, if the two contest against each other, it will be the fiercest battle of ballots which will certainly hog the attention of national media.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook