Chandigarh: After the unexpected defeat of Aam Aadmy Party in Punjab assembly election 2017, MP Bhagwant Mann said the decisions taken before the polls had hurt him “to the core”.
Breaking his silence Mann today took on the party leadership he, “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.
Mann said “as of now, I have taken an off from the party and am preparing to leave for the US to meet my children”. Asked about his next political move, the Sangrur MP said he was keeping all his options open and would decide his next course of action after his return in May-end.
Mann neither campaigned in the Delhi municipal elections for his party, nor did he address any meeting ahead of the Rajouri Garden byelection, where the AAP candidate lost his deposit, who addressed about 400 election rallies.
“I have conveyed my feelings to (AAP convener) 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,” said Mann.
“In Punjab, the party contested the elections without naming its captain. It virtually behaved like a ‘mohalla cricket team’ in which every player himself decides where he would field and at what number he would bat and when he would bowl,” said Mann. “All were asking one question that who would be the party’s Chief Minister if it won. Instead of answering this question clearly, our party compounded the confusion by making some ludicrous statements,” said Mann.
“As there was no captain, no one is ready to take responsibility for the poor show in spite of overwhelming public support.”
“I opposed the nomination of certain candidates but instead of changing them, the party leadership snubbed me,” said Mann adding that he kept silent because he did not want to create a scene. “Had I raised a banner of revolt at that point of time, people would have blamed me for the party’s defeat,” he said.
He 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,” he added.