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From Laughter Challenge to Poll Test: Sidhu and Mann File Nomination Papers in Punjab

A combination image of Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu (L) and AAP leader Bhagwant Mann (R). (PTI File)

A combination image of Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu (L) and AAP leader Bhagwant Mann (R). (PTI File)

The PCC chief, Sidhu, chose 11.15 a.m to file his nomination papers. The timing has been said to be auspicious for good luck by party insiders.

One of the top contenders for the Congress’ chief ministerial face, Navjot Singh Sidhu and the CM candidate of the Aam Aadmi Party Bhagwant Mann filed their nomination papers from Amritsar and Dhuri, respectively for the forthcoming assembly elections to be held on February 20.

The PCC chief, Sidhu, chose 11.15 a.m to file his nomination papers. The timing has been said to be auspicious for good luck by party insiders.

Mann filed his nomination at 10.30 a.m. In a video message late on Friday night urged his followers not to accompany him and abide by the Covid-19 protocol, but ensure that they come out in large number on the day of poll.

Two days ago Congress party vice-president Rahul Gandhi assured that Congress’ CM face would be announced soon, in view of the demand of the party leaders and the incumbent CM Charanjit Singh Channi.

Sidhu is aware that it would no longer be a cakewalk for him to be declared as a CM face, cosnidering the changed dynamics within the party and Channi’s equally strong pitch.

Channi, during his 111 days as the CM, has made the right optics and ensured that he projected himself as the common man’s CM who could be approached, someone who stopped by the road even to help accident victims and also the caste card that Congress has played by nominating him after Captain Amarinder Singh was asked to step down.

Touted as the first Dalit CM of Punjab, it will get increasingly difficult for Sidhu to dislodge him and urge the party high command to project him as the CM face.

Though both have assured Gandhi, whoever is named would ensure that there were no differences and the leaders would work together to ensure victory of Congress in Punjab, but if the recent public spat, especially from Sidhu’s side, is anything to go by then it is definitely a bumpy ride ahead for the Congress.

On the other hand, Mann is aware if AAP is elected to power then it is going to be an Arvind Kejriwal government with him as the face. If the AAP’s campaign song is anything to go by then it is evident that the focus of the elections would continue to remain Kejriwal with Mann being around.

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