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AAP's Punjab CM candidate Bhagwant Mann to contest from Dhuri assembly

|HT|


Bhagwant Mann, the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) chief ministerial candidate for next month's assembly elections in Punjab, will contest from the Dhuri assembly seat in his home turf of Sangrur. Mann, who heads the AAP's Punjab unit, is a 2-term and sitting MP from the state's Sangrur parliamentary constituency. The Dhuri assembly seat is currently held by the ruling Congress, with the party's Dalvinder Singh Khangura ‘Goldy' being the incumbent MLA. The party has, in fact, held the seat since 2012, when its nominee, Arvind Khanna, won that year’s assembly polls from here, while Khangura won in 2017. Meanwhile, Mann, a former stand-up comic who joined the AAP in 2014, was on Tuesday declared as the nominee for CM's chair by party convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. The Sangrur MP's name was announced after the Aam Aadmi Party, in a unique initiative, opened a phone number last week for the people of Punjab to send a name, who, according to them, should be the party's nominee for the border state's top post. Disclosing the result, Kejriwal, who earlier ruled himself out of the race, said the AAP received nearly 22 lakh responses. Messages naming the Delhi CM were declared invalid and, among the rest, 93.3 per cent votes were in favour of Mann. Punjab will go to polls in a single-phase on February 20. Originally, voting was scheduled to be held on February 14. However, since the date coincides with Ravidas Jayanti, almost all political parties in the state, including the Congress, requested the Election Commission of India (ECI) to reschedule the polls. The poll panel announced the new date on Monday.



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