Arvind Kejriwal Meets Punjab Chief Secretary In Bhagwant Mann’s Absence; Opposition In Punjab Says “Told You So”

by Swarajya Staff - Apr 13, 2022 06:46 PM +05:30 IST
Arvind Kejriwal Meets Punjab Chief Secretary In Bhagwant Mann’s Absence; Opposition In Punjab Says “Told You So”Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann (left) and Arvind Kejriwal (right)

What happened?

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal held a meeting with Punjab Chief Secretary and Secretary of the Power Department along with other officials of the Punjab State Power Corporation in New Delhi on Monday.

The meeting was held in the absence of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.

The context

During the campaign for the ‘Punjab 2022’ elections itself, it was said that if the Aam Aadmi Party were to come to power in Punjab, it would run a government remote-controlled by Kejriwal sitting in New Delhi. The rationale behind this argument was that Arvind Kejriwal is the supreme leader of the Aam Aadmi Party and if Bhagwant Mann were to run a government independent of the overview of Kejriwal, the latter’s political stature could match that of the Delhi CM.

Multiple events in the life of the Aam Aadmi Party have suggested that Kejriwal does not prefer any other leader of the party becoming as popular as him.

Secondly, Punjab is the first ‘full’ state where the AAP has come into government. In terms of administrative power, Kejriwal’s stature is already lower than Mann’s. That this would irk the Delhi CM was predicted by many commentators.

And now, barely a month into power, the Delhi chief minister has already met the top bureaucrat of Punjab in the absence of the Punjab CM.

What is the AAP saying?

While the Delhi CM or other senior leaders from the AAP are yet to speak on the issue, state leaders of the AAP have jumped to Kejriwal’s defence.

As per this report, Punjab Transport Minister Laljit Singh Bhullar, when asked about the meeting, said that Kejriwal is the national convener of the AAP, and even if he has held a meeting with the state officials, it should not be made into a “big issue”.

“People come from far and wide to see the Kejriwal model of governance. If he has held an informal meeting which is for the benefit of the people of Punjab, then it should be welcomed,” said AAP spokesperson Malwinder Singh Kang.

Bottomline

The meeting was only one event which the public got to know about. It is likely that there were other important decisions about the government of Punjab that were not taken by Mann but Kejriwal.

Going forward, if Mann asserts himself, he won’t last long in the AAP. If he doesn’t, he can be certain that his first term as Punjab CM will also be his last.

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