From beginning his career as a standup comedian to becoming a chief minister-elect of Punjab, Bhagwant Singh Mann has seen a lot of ups and downs in his life. He became the most notable face of the Aam Admi Party from 2014 onwards and since then he has never seen back. Here is a short detail about Bhagwant Mann’s journey to CM’s post.
A noteworthy journey
The 48-year-old politician and a former comedian initiated the noteworthy journey from being a political rookie to the CM-elect of Punjab in less than 11 years. With the AAP sweeping the elections in the state, Mann, who has won in his constituency of Dhuri, is all set to be AAP’s second chief minister after Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi.
The two-time parliamentarian from Sangrur was born into the family of a schoolteacher at Satoj village in Sangrur. He is a college dropout. He always prefers to don a yellow turban, as he calls himself a devotee of Bhagat Singh.
According to the sources, his total declared assets are Rs 2 crore which includes Rs 48.1 lakh in moveable assets and Rs 1.5 crore as immovable assets. His total declared income is Rs 18.3 lakh of which Rs 18.3 lakh is self income. He also holds a total liabilities of Rs 30.4 lakh..
Mann came to the limelight at the age of 18 when he released his first audio cassette while pursuing B.Com at Shaheed Udham Singh Government College, Sunam. A master of social and political humor, he was soon a comedy sensation in the state with his long-running television show Jugnu Mast Mast.
As a performer, he also did his first film called Kachheri which was released in 1994. Bhagwant Mann rose to national fame after emerging in the late-2000s stand-up comedy show ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge.’
A career as a politician
He quit his comedy career to join a political party named the People’s Party of Punjab. But his first election participation in 2012 assembly polls proved to be a failure.
Later, when Parkash S Badal merged his party with Congress before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Mann rejected continuing with them and decided to join hands with Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP. Soon, Mann won the Sangrur LS seat by a record margin of over 2 lakh votes, outnumbering veteran Akali leader SS Dhindsa.
During the 2017 assembly polls, he became the most popular figure of the party as he addressed over 300 rallies during the campaign, making it a tough contest for the Akali Dal who then ruled Punjab.
His life took a dip when he got addicted to alcohol. In 2015, a video went viral on social media where Mann was seen attending a condolence meeting in Faridkot. He has also arrived drunk on several occasions.
Another video of Mann’s Lok Sabha speech went viral in 2019, in which he was seen under the influence of alcohol. The BJP had then urged that the MP be subjected to a narcotics test. Not just that, once he fell at a rally in Bathinda in January 2017, after blowing fuzzy kisses to the audience.
But by 2019, the Aam Admi Party claimed that he was a new man now, and had declared that Mann had sworn off liquor.
Since then Mann has never let his party down, and, his selection as AAP’s Punjab CM candidate came from a public opinion poll.
Road to CM of Punjab
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief had said that they will conduct votes among the local public. The votes were cast through phone calls, SMS, and WhatsApp messages during the party’s special ‘Janta Chunegi Apna CM’ candidate. Surprisingly Mann won as 93 percent of people voted in his favor.
Mann worked at the grassroots and followed on his party’s footprint. He proved to be a strong challenger to mainstream political parties because of his image, which is free from corruption, and his prolific Punjabi vocabulary skills that connected well with voters.
Winning by a huge margin of over 58,000 votes, the strong AAP leader is set to take his oath as the next Punjab Chief Minister. It has surely been a great journey for the 48-year-old.
More than that, the AAP can finally rid the ‘Delhi party’ tag and look for an expanding journey throughout Indian politics. The top leaders in the party believe this great victory will give people in other states the faith to look at their party differently and see them as a party of governance. This may be the moment for the AAP to step foot into the national political limelight and the party owes a huge favor to Bhagwant Mann.
#WATCH Punjab has accepted Kejriwal's model of governance. It has gained recognition at the national level. People in the entire country will seek this model of governance, says AAP leader Manish Sisodia pic.twitter.com/iVtBjv271Q
— ANI (@ANI) March 10, 2022