Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, who has been under fire following his outburst against the media, skipped a rally organised by AAP candidate from Fatehgarh Churian Gurvinder Singh Shampura on Sunday.
He, however, paid a surprise visit to Muktsar to enquire about the well-being of AAP activists who got injured at Malout on Saturday following clashes with SAD activists.
Speaking on the phone, Mann said, “I will not only continue with my ‘kikli kaleer di’ but add more to it. I will meet the DGP tomorrow. If the police do not register a case against SAD activists who attacked our volunteers and disrupted the rally we will launch statewide protests.”
Mann said he had to come to Muktsar so he could attend the rallies. “I have sent Gurpreet Ghuggi to attend the rallies and will address events scheduled for tomorrow,” he said.
His absence at Fatehgarh Churian in Gurdaspur was met with disappointment by his party workers who had gathered in large numbers. However, the cops were happy to see Mann giving the event a miss.
The Batala police had made elaborate security arrangements at Kala Afghana village, the venue of the rally, after Shampura informed the police yesterday evening that Mann had confirmed his visit. Kala Afghana falls under the Fatehgarh Churian assembly segment.
Gurdaspur is the home district of former AAP state convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur. Going by the recent incidents, post Chhotepur’s removal, the police had no option except to upgrade the security.
Intelligence reports indicated that the organisers may face trouble from their rivals. SSP Daljinder Singh Dhillon personally supervised the security arrangments and deployed high number of personnel at the venue.
In Mann’s absence, comedian-turned-politician Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi took it upon himself to invigorate the crowd. His 20-minute extempore had the crowd smiling.
Although the AAP is yet to officially announce its candidate from the neighbouring seat of Batala, Ghuggi has already started campaigning there. His presence in today’s programme is a sign that his name may be announced soon.
video: ABP Sanjha