Bhagwant Mann, one of the staunchest critic of Narendra Modi was mocked in the Parliament by the Prime Minister, who said, “I generally tell people ‘ghee piyo’, but if Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) MP Bhagwant Mann were to tell people, he will ask them to drink something else”. Mann is well known for taking jibes at the PM in public rallies and events. Meanwhile, Mann responded to the allegations by saying that it reflected Modi’s fear in assembly elections. He added the allegations were totally baseless and BJP was afraid of AAP before the Punjab elections. AAP is known for giving Modi his first electoral defeat after the big win in Lok Sabha, when it swept away the Delhi assembly polls in February 2015.
The Aam Aadmi Party is relatively new to Indian politics, but has managed to become a strong force in states like Goa and Punjab, and they have voted to elect new legislative assemblies respectively on February 8. Interestingly, both the states have BJP in power (as a part of a coalition with Akali Dal in Punjab). Meanwhile, Bhagwant Mann has emerged as a tall leader in the state of Punjab and is widely seen as the Chief Ministerial candidate there. He has been single-handedly gathering crowds in Punjab with his witty lines and poems. The only reason AAP has not been able to project his as the CM face, as he has been mired in allegations regarding a drinking problem.
However, Mann has been confident to deny such allegations and maintained his stance that at most he is a social drinker. He is seen as a maverick in his party circles and connects with the youth. His socio-political satire and comedy have garnered a lot of following, not only in the state but also in the Parliament where his humour became a hit in heated debates. With such popularity of Mann, and the increasing AAP presence, is PM Modi and BJP afraid of losing the elections in Punjab assembly this year?