Daggers are out in the Aam Aadmi Party’s Punjab unit with its MP Bhagwant Mann slamming the party leadership for drubbing in the recent state assembly elections, stating that not naming a chief ministerial candidate cost them heavy.
The AAP’s Sangrur MP said the party should look within to find out the reasons which stopped its march to power in Punjab.
Mann said AAP lost Punjab not because of any tampering of EVMs, but due to the blunders committed by the party's leadership. He blamed the leadership for "committing grave blunders in preparing strategy" for the Punjab Assembly election.
"There is no use finding fault with the EVMs now when the party leadership committed a historic blunder with regard to the overall strategy in the elections. First, it should look within to find out reasons that stopped AAP’s march to power,” said Mann, who addressed about 400 election rallies.
He also slammed the party leadership for "behaving like a ‘mohalla’ cricket team,” and said the AAP had committed a "historic blunder” in Punjab with regard to the overall electoral strategy.
AAP state convener Gurpreet Singh Waraich endorsed Mann’s remarks.
"What Mann has said should be taken seriously by Arvind Kejriwal. The party convener (Kejriwal) should speak to Mann to know why he thinks so,” he told PTI.
Elaborating on his plans, Mann said he was deliberating on all options available before him. He would take a final decision after coming back from the US.
The Sangrur MP said he was open to various options and would take a call on his next course of action once he returns in May after meeting his children in US.
When asked why he was speaking now, Mann said that he did not want to during Punjab polls as he did not want to create a scene or else he would have been blamed for the loss.
"I have conveyed my feelings to Arvind Kejriwal in detail and told him how the party high command was responsible for its defeat in the Assembly elections in Punjab, where people came in droves to take part in rallies and other programmes,” the AAP leader said.
The comedian-turned-politician who did not campaign during the MCD polls said, "Bringing (Rajouri Garden MLA) Jarnail Singh to Punjab was also a questionable decision because it added to the confusion regarding the party’s CM face. "Overconfidence of certain leaders of the high command spoiled the party’s electoral game in Punjab.”
The Kejriwal-led party had won 20 out of a total 117 seats in the Punjab assembly polls. The Congress had registered a thumping win securing 77 seats, while SAD-BJP managed to win 18 seats.
Mann's attack on the AAP leadership comes on the day when the result for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) election was announced and the party performed miserably in it. In this context, Mann's attack comes as a double whammy for the party leadership, particularly Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.