Business Standard

Bhagwant Mann, Sidhu have brighter future in comedy: Minister Hardeep Puri

AAP CM candidate Bhagwant Mann and Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu have "brighter future" in comedy, said Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday ahead of Punjab polls.

Hardeep Singh Puri

BJP leader Hardeep Singh Puri Photo: PIB India

Press Trust of India Amritsar (Punjab)
AAP chief ministerial candidate Bhagwant Mann and Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu have "brighter future" in comedy, BJP leader and Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Friday in a swipe at them ahead of the February 20 assembly polls.
Puri, who has been canvassing for his party's candidates across Punjab, also claimed that AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was forced to declare the party's chief ministerial candidate as Mann was "a millstone around his neck".
"They (AAP) announced Bhagwant Mann as their chief ministerial face as he was a millstone around Kejriwal's neck. If you pull aside Kejriwal he will tell you how uncomfortable he is...he has shared his assessment of Bhagwant Mann with me. Pre-poll announcement of chief ministerial candidates can work both as advantage and disadvantage. And in case of both the Congress and the AAP, it is going to be disadvantage," Puri told PTI in an interview.
The Congress has announced Charanjit Singh Channi, the incumbent, as its chief ministerial candidate.
The BJP, which is contesting the polls in an alliance with former chief minister Amarinder Singh's Punjab Lok Congress and the Akali Dal faction headed by Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, is going all out to put up a strong performance.
Referring to Mann's habit of consuming alcohol, Puri questioned the AAP's choice of chief ministerial candidate. "For a state which is reeling under the problem of toxication, to have somebody who is popularly perceived as 'piyakkad' (drunkard) a slap in the face of the state. I don't think he is serious chief ministerial face," he said.
The Congress is a divided house in Punjab and its leaders are busy in settling scores with each other rather than working for the overall welfare of people, he charged.
Taking a dig at both Sidhu and Mann, Puri said, "I think they have brighter future in comedy where money is readily available.... If you put people like that here, then there will be a problem."

Referring to recent remarks of poet and former AAP leader Kumar Vishwas, Puri said Kejriwal harbours the desire of being the chief minister of Punjab.
"Kejriwal deep within him harbours the desire of becoming chief minister of Punjab. If you are serious of becoming chief minister of Punjab, why are you in cohort with people who have no hesitation in undermining the state of Punjab and who are perceived to be Khalistanis," Puri said, while talking about pro-Khalistani outfit Sikhs For Justice head Gurpatwant Singh Pannu.
A fake letter that surfaced ahead of the polls claimed that the Sikhs For Justice extended support to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Describing Pannu as a paid agent of Pakistani spy agency ISI, Puri said he claims to espouse Sikhism but has no visible manifestation of Sikhism.
"His (Kejriwal's) goose is cooked. Punjab is in no mood to vote for him as survival of the state is at stake," the BJP leader said.
Puri virtually ruled out any post-poll alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) with which the BJP had a tie-up for decades. "Our party is founded on some core values. Akali Dal has some very bad habits and I don't think we can cater to that," he said.
Puri said Punjab is witnessing a multi-cornered contest and the BJP will win many seats as its committed voters are not moving away.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 18 2022 | 6:17 PM IST

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