BHAGWANT MANN INTERVIEW: AAP WILL FILL PUNJAB’S COFFERS, CLEAR DEBTS

Hours after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal named him the party’s chief ministerial face for the upcoming assembly elections in Punjab, HT spoke to Bhagwant Mann (48) about his poll pitch, the impact of Sanyukt Samaj Morcha — a political front of the farmer unions that had took part in the stir against the Centre’s farm laws — and the charge that the party was being controlled from Delhi.

Why should people vote for AAP?

People have made up their minds to vote for us. In 2017, they trusted Captain (Amarinder Singh), thinking he was the same Capt of 2002-2007. Prashant Kishor also got them to make lofty promises. People feel cheated because the Congress didn’t fulfill its promises and tried to wriggle out by replacing Capt with (Charanjit Singh) Channi for just 70-80 days. This will not work as Channi and others were part of his (Captain’s) team. We are doing positive politics, laying out our roadmap. Khazana vi bharange, debt vi clear karange aur logan nu facilities vi dewange (We will fill the state coffers, clear the debts while ensuring that facilities are provided to the local residents).

There is a feeling that Sanyukt Samaj Morcha will dent the AAP’s prospects. Kejriwal ji also conceded this. What’s your sense?

SSM is a political party. Let’s stop calling them farmers. They are fighting elections and the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (an umbrella organisation that spearheaded the farmers’ stir) has already said that the unions contesting the elections are not part of it. People are very intelligent. They know very well who is going to dent whom, who is splitting votes, and who is helping whom. I don’t think there will be much loss to us.

You haven’t been campaigning hard, so far. Why?

The circumstances were such — first due to Covid-19 and then the EC restrictions. But the EC guidelines suit us. We are specialists of door-to-door campaigning. We forced others to go from door to door. They used to get votes by waiving their hands from helicopters earlier. We have passionate people in our social media teams. Their people are on salaries. If restrictions are relaxed, I will switch gears and hold rallies.

News Source : Hindustan Times

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