As Punjab votes today in a single phase assembly election, Aam Aadmi Party’s chief ministerial candidate and two-time MP from Sangrur Bhagwant Mann denied any possibility of a hung assembly, and said AAP will win “more than 80 seats” in the 117 assembly constituencies.
As he visited a gurdwara in Mohali before casting vote after which he headed to Dhuri, the constituency from where he is contesting this time, News18 spoke with Mann in Ranike village after he offered prayers at the Rankeshwara Mahadev Temple.
Mann also alleged that former AAP member Kumar Vishwas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi have all come together as they are “desperate” and fear losing the election this time.
Vishwas has accused Arvind Kejriwal of supporting separatists during the Punjab campaign but the AAP national convener has denied the allegations.
You have been visiting many places since morning. What have you picked up?
It is going well. Till 5pm, polling should be more than 50% and in some booths, more than 60%. This means that people are voting for change.
You said people are voting for change. Are you prepared for a situation of a hung assembly in Punjab, you may not get a full majority?
No. I am absolutely not preparing for a hung assembly. AAP will win more than 80 seats, that is my hope. This is your question.
People have hopes from you. At the rally in Chamkaur Sahib, people turned up late in the night and said they said they wanted jobs and freedom from drugs. Does the weight of expectations scare you?
You said there could be a hung assembly. Then you are asking if I become the chief minister how will I fulfil (the expectations)? So, it will not be a hung assembly. You yourself are saying it. If in Chamkaur Sahib, people are saying this, we will fulfil all their expectations.
Does the weight of expectations not feel heavy?
Why should it feel heavy? People have hopes from me. People have given me responsibilities. My courage to perform well will only get doubled.
In what way, you think, will the statements made by Kumar Vishwas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi impact voters?
See, Kumar Vishwas, the Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi, Charanjit Singh Channi have all come together. What crime have we committed? What harm have we done to Punjab? What loss have we caused Punjab? This is just a sign of their desperation and fear of losing. ‘Baukhlahat hai unka, haar ki baukhlahat’.
What is your response to their allegations?
The people will give (them) the response. Today, they are responding to those allegations. By pressing the button of ‘jhadoo’, people are answering to those allegations.
On March 10, how many seats are you expected to get?
Please ask me on March 10.
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