Ballot Battle | AAP Takes Charge: Mann, Pathak lead the charge for Punjab elections

| | Chandigarh
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Ballot Battle | AAP Takes Charge: Mann, Pathak lead the charge for Punjab elections

Wednesday, 03 April 2024 | Monika Malik | Chandigarh

In a bid to fortify its position ahead of the fiercely-contested 2024 Lok Sabha elections in Punjab, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has embarked on a proactive campaign led by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and the party's national general secretary Sandeep Pathak. The political terrain, marked by the arrest of its supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, recent defections, and challenges, has prompted AAP to take decisive steps to address internal dissension and bolster party unity.


The recent defections of prominent leaders like its Jalandhar MP Sushil Kumar Rinku and MLA Sheetal Angural to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have underscored the challenges facing AAP in Punjab as it sought to consolidate its hold on the State. In response, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has initiated a series of strategic meetings with legislators and party nominees across key constituencies, aiming to quell dissatisfaction and prevent further defections.


Mann’s proactive approach was evident during his recent visits to Patiala and Faridkot, where he engaged in extensive discussions with MLAs to understand their concerns and grievances. Assuring them of his commitment to address their issues, Mann emphasized the importance of unity within the party to navigate the challenges posed by political rivals.


Dr Balbir Singh and Karamjit Singh Anmol, contesting for Patiala and Faridkot seats respectively, along with the MLAs, participated in the discussions. Mann urged the AAP leaders to collaborate closely to ensure victory for the party’s candidates in both constituencies.


“Our constituents have witnessed the impact of our governance and are content. Let’s exert ourselves and replicate the resounding victories of the 2022 assembly elections,” he said.


The leaders informed Mann of their ongoing efforts, including village meetings and door-to-door campaigns, aimed at informing people about the achievements of the AAP Government in Punjab. They expressed their commitment to intensify these efforts in their respective constituencies.


Meanwhile, Sandeep Pathak, the poll-strategist and party’s national general secretary, also delivered a categorical message during a gathering of party workers at Ludhiana, indicating that those inclined to switch allegiance to other parties were free to do so. Pathak’s statement, while seemingly unconventional, reflected AAP’s confidence in its leadership and its commitment to upholding democratic principles.


The timing of these developments is significant, especially with AAP’s supremo Arvind Kejriwal embroiled in legal matters in Delhi. Despite Kejriwal’s absence, AAP remained steadfast in its mission to serve the people of Punjab and deliver on its electoral promises.


Pathak’s assertive stance is indicative of AAP’s determination to confront challenges head-on and maintain party unity amidst external pressures. He reiterated AAP’s commitment to its core principles and expressed confidence in winning all 13 seats in Punjab, despite attempts by rival parties to lure away its members with lucrative offers.


Furthermore, Pathak emphasized the importance of unity among party members and workers, urging them to stand firm against any attempts to intimidate or coerce them into switching sides. His remarks resonate strongly with AAP’s grassroots supporters, who view the party as a beacon of hope for a better future.


The responsibility for Punjab’s all 13 seats, along with campaigning in other states for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, lie entirely on Chief Minister Mann. Acting upon Mann’s directive, the AAP high command had decided to stay out of the opposition bloc INDIA while making clear its intention to contest elections independently. However, following Kejriwal’s arrest coupled with BJP’s alleged attempts to poach its leaders has led to discontentment within the party ranks.


Mann to Hit Campaign Trail ACROSS All Districts

Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is now stepping into all districts to resolve discontent among legislators. This schedule of the Chief Minister had already been prepared earlier but was put on hold due to the Delhi rally. Soon, CM Mann will visit each district of Punjab one by one to meet with candidates and legislators there.

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