Legislative Assembly elections in Punjab were held on 20th February 2022 and the results were declared on 10th March, in which AAP emerged victorious. The winning party leaders chose Bhagwant Mann and he was sworn in as Chief Minister of Punjab on 16th March 2022. Although Mann became the de jure CM of the state, but he acted only as a puppet. Arvind Kejriwal and his close associates used to take every decision related to policies or politics of the state. However, as politics in Delhi is heating up, it seems as if Punjab will now take a breath from this remote control system of Kejriwal.
AAP is under the scanner of the CBI
Kejriwal’s dream to get a full-fledged state to rule realised in March 2022. The power-hungry man successively tried to rule Punjab from Delhi. He took control of Bhagwant Mann and dictated the terms of policies from Delhi. But, the recent overhaul in Delhi politics has completely changed this scenario.
The AAP leaders’ scandals and their corrupt politics have brought them under the scanner of various anti-corruption agencies. On 19 August 2022, the Central Bureau of Investigation conducted searches at 31 locations including in Delhi, Gurugram, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, and Bengaluru leading to recovery of incriminating documents, articles, digital records and other pieces of evidence.
The searches were conducted by CBI, the investigation agency in its press release stated, “The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against Deputy Chief Minister, GNCTD of Delhi and others including then Commissioner (Excise), then Deputy Commissioner (Excise), then Assistant Commissioner (Excise), all of GNCTD, Delhi; 10 liquor licencees, their associates & unknown others on a reference from MHA(GOI) related to alleged irregularities in framing & implementation of the excise policy of GNCTD, Delhi,…”
Leaders in Delhi are engaged
Concerning the investigation, the AAP leaders in Delhi are busy saving themselves from corruption charges. The wrongful gain and corrupt administrative decisions have opened their lies of honesty in public. Now, they are running to defend their corrupt activities and are engaged in covering evidence.
Further, the other AAP Cabinet Minister, Satyendar Jain, was arrested on 30 May by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for a case related to money laundering. Since then, the minister is in jail and Kejriwal has still not removed him from the Health Minister post.
The allegation of corruption charges against the top two ministers of the AAP has dismantled his false promise to provide honest administration. The corruption charges have opened their true face in public and Kejriwal is running a campaign to clean his image. Seeing the political downfall, the whole central leadership of AAP has been busy saving themselves from these corruption allegations.
Bhagwant Mann- new Chief Minister of Punjab
In this scenario, Kejriwal’s successive meddling in the functioning of the Punjab government would take a break and Mann can get to independently run the state. Otherwise, since taking charge of Punjab, Bhagwant Mann has only worked as the puppet of Kejriwal.
Bhagwant Mann was only the de jure Chief Minister of Punjab, the de facto leader of the state was Kejriwal only. He decided the Cabinet Ministers of the Punjab ministry. He overlooked and drafted the politics and policies of the state. Even he used to take meetings of Punjab officials.
Earlier in April 2022, Arvind Kejriwal, the AAP patriarch met with senior officials of Punjab’s power department in the absence of state CM Bhagwant Mann. He met with officials of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL). Reportedly in the meeting state’s Chief Secretary and Secretary were present. The power meddling was so strong that Kejriwal forced Bhagwant Mann to include his close associate, Raghav Chadha, on the advisory panel of the Punjab government. In a way, Kejriwal was the de facto CM and controlled every matter of the Punjab government.
However, as the political structure in Delhi is changing, it can now be predicted that Kejriwal’s meddling in Punjab would now stop and Punjab would get a ‘New CM’ in the form of Bhagwant Mann. The de jure CM would now become independent to take decisions on his own and this remote control system of AAP would be dismantled.
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