'Ek Tha Joker': Congress Counters Punjab CM Mann's 'Party Irrelevant' Remark

Congress leader Pawan Khera countered Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann's remarks, alleging a shared vision for a 'Congress-mukt Bharat' between the Aam Aadmi Party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann

Congress responded to Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann's assertion that the party has become a relic of the past in both Punjab and Delhi with an 'Ek Tha Joker' jibe.

Congress leader Pawan Khera countered Mann's remarks, alleging a shared vision for a "Congress-mukt Bharat" (Congress-free India) between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In response to Mann's comment, Khera quipped, "By the way, the name of a Bhojpuri picture is 'Ek Tha Joker.' You must have seen it?”

Khera also pointed out the similarity of the two political parties even though AAP being an opposition, he said, "How similar are the views of 'AAP' and Modi ji!! Both of them dream of a Congress-free India. Will eat both mouthfuls."

What did Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann say?

During a press conference, Mann had earlier suggested that the Congress has been relegated to history in Punjab and Delhi, stating, "In Punjab and Delhi, mothers can tell the world's shortest story to their children - Ek Thi Cong (there was once a Congress)." This remark came in response to questions about reported reluctance among state Congress leaders regarding an alliance with AAP.

Addressing the issue of seat adjustment among INDIA bloc partners, Mann mentioned that such matters would be discussed in the alliance meeting. He added, "Only after things are finalized, we will be able to tell." Emphasizing the fight for the country and the importance of saving the Constitution, Mann said, "If the Constitution is saved, then everything else will remain."

AAP, led by Arvind Kejriwal, and Congress are among the 28 constituents of the INDIA bloc formed to challenge the BJP in the upcoming general elections. When asked about Congress leaders expressing concerns about the party's potential wipeout in polls if it allies with AAP, Mann took a swipe at the opposition party, saying, "Te hun ki hoya hai unada (Is their state of affairs any different now)." He concluded the press conference with his "shortest story" jab at Congress.

Notably, several Punjab Congress leaders, including Partap Singh Bajwa, had previously conveyed that the sentiments of the party cadre in the state oppose any alliance with the ruling Aam Aadmi Party for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Meanwhile, notwithstanding the Defence Ministry's statement on Sunday over the tableau matter, Mann again trained his guns at the Centre over the "non-inclusion" of the state's float in the Republic Day parade.