Ludhiana, Feb 2: Aam Aadmi Party MP and star campaigner Bhagwant Mann is all over television channels and newspapers in Punjab, once again, for his alleged ‘drinking’. Photographs and videos of Mann were all over local TV channels in Punjab on Monday alleging that Mann arrived drunk at his election meeting in Moga, campaigning for the upcoming Assembly elections in the state.
Reports says that an allegedly drunk Mann was surrounded by a mob and could not speak for five minutes, even as he kept blowing flying kisses on the crowd for five minutes on Saturday night. Videos also showed him falling down twice during the meeting, adding more fuel to the reports of him having arrived drunk.
However, Mann has completely refuted the reports, adding that he was not drunk. He has put out a video on YouTube claiming that the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress are trying to defame the leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party. He also claims that he could not speak for five minutes as he was surrounded by a huge crowd of people and it was noisy. He also said that it was because of the crowd and not because of being inebriated that he fell down. He also attacked a news channel for putting out wrong facts about him and his party.
Newspapers across Punjab said that Mann came to the venue, on the stage, and didn’t speak for a good five minutes. He blew kisses at the crowds and fell down. Mann got back up and began blowing kisses again. Reports say that even while he spoke, he was fumbling, indicating that he may have been under the influence of alcohol.
Former AAP leader who broke away from the party, Prashant Bhushan, too tweeted, saying, “AAP’s star performer Mann comes drunk to his own election meetings! AAP increased liquor Vends in Delhi& they promise Nasha Mukt Punjab!” Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal also lashed out at Mann, tweeting, “Drunk Bhagwant Mann’s passing flying kisses at a public rally is mysogynic act aimed at demeaning woman. Bhagwant also went to gurudwara in an inebriated state, showing disrespect to our Guru Sahib. He doesn’t deserve Punjab’s support.” Mann has come under attack from the Congress too.
This is not the first time that Mann has been accused of being drunk during meetings. Earlier, too, there have been allegations that Mann may have arrived drunk in Parliament too. Ironically, the AAP has been loud and clear in its pitch to make Punjab ‘nasha mukt’. Can such reports and episodes hamper AAP’s chances in Punjab? The state goes to polls on February 4 and the counting will take place on March 11.