- The AAP declared Bhagwant Mann as the party's CM candidate for Punjab Assembly elections 2022
- Mann has been associated with several controversies in the past, particularly linked with alcoholism
- Mann joined AAP which fielded him as party's candidate from Sangrur for 2014 Lok Sabha election
Bhagwant Mann AAP Punjab CM candidate: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday (January 18) declared Bhagwant Mann as the party's chief ministerial candidate for Punjab Assembly elections 2022. Announcing Mann's name at an event held in Chandigarh, Delhi CM and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said 93 per cent people voted in favour of the Sangrur MP via phone calls, SMS and WhatsApp messages during the special 'Janta Chunegi Apna CM' drive launched by the party last week.
With this, AAP has emerged as only party among major outfits contesting the assembly polls which has announced its chief ministerial face. Voting for Punjab's 117 Assembly seats is scheduled for February 20 and the counting will take place on March 10.
Bhagwant Mann: One name, several controversies
Bhagwant Mann, comedian-turned-politician, was in tears when Kejriwal announced his name as AAP's CM candidate for Punjab. "People laughed when they see my face. But now they cry and say, save us," Mann said summing up his long and eventful journey from the entertainment industry to the big political stage.
Mann has been associated with several controversies in the past, particularly linked with alcoholism. Ever since he started his political stint with the Aam Aadmi Party, Mann has been accused by his detractors of coming to events drunk on several occasions.
In 2015, a video was widely circulated showing Bhagwant Mann attending a condolence meeting in Faridkot allegedly drunk.
In 2019, another video of Mann's Lok Sabha speech went viral with people questioning whether he was speaking under the influence of alcohol. The BJP had then demanded a narco test of the MP.
During public rally in 2019, Bhagwant Mann announced that he had taken a vow not to consume liquor ever again. Kejriwal, who was present at the stage, had then praised him for the decision. However, both Congress and BJP have repeatedly accused Bhagwant Mann of not keeping his promise.
Bhagwant Mann's political journey so far
People's Party of Punjab, founded by Manpreet Singh Badal, had fielded Bhagwant Mann from Lehra assembly constituency in 2011. He lost the election. Mann then joined AAP which fielded him as party's candidate from Sangrur for 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Mann won the election and retained the seat in 2019.
Mann has spent a number of years in the Punjab entertainment industry before taking the political plunge. His first movie 'Kachheri' released in 1994. However, Bhagwant Mann got nationwide popularity after he participated in a stand up comedy show 'The Great Indian Laughter Challenge' in the late 2000s. Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu was one of the judges of the show.