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Home >Politics >Policy >Rajya Sabha elections: AAP nominates Sanjay Singh, N.D. Gupta, Sushil Gupta

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday nominated members for three Rajya Sabha seats, making them the first non-Bharatiya Janata Party, non-Congress members to be nominated to the upper house from the national capital.

AAP has nominated senior leader Sanjay Singh, chartered accountant N.D. Gupta and businessman Sushil Gupta. The decision was taken by the party’s political affairs committee, its highest decision-making body.

The announcement has once again revived talk of a rift in the party with a war of words breaking out between founding member Kumar Vishwas and senior leaders.

The decision comes after the party initially decided to reach out to eminent members from different fields but later settled for a mix from within the party and outside.

Addressing a press conference to announce the names, senior AAP leader and deputy chief minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia said 18 members from different fields declined their offer due to concerns over their independence and the consequences of associating with the party.

“There was a lot of discussion on who should represent us in the Rajya Sabha. We spoke to 18 people from different backgrounds including media, academics, economics and law. Very respectfully, these people told us that we have worked hard to get here and if we associate ourselves with AAP, there will be no independence left. Some said that we are scared that if we associate ourselves with AAP, the central government will use all its forces to ruin our name and they declined our offer with respect," Sisodia said.

In the run-up to the announcement, a section of the party was for nominating senior leaders while others felt that experts from various fields should be nominated.

“The party then held discussions on whether people from the party should be sent. There was an internal divide over this. Arvind (Kejriwal) felt that someone from outside be sent. We also considered choosing people from the party. Finally, the party decided that people who are not so famous but have done credible work should be nominated," Sisodia said.

Vishwas said he is being punished for speaking the truth and added that it is difficult to survive in the party if one disagrees with Kejriwal.

“In the last one-and-a-half years, I spoke the truth, whether it is Arvind Kejriwal’s decisions or issues like surgical strike, irregularities in ticket distribution, softness towards extremists in Punjab among others, for which I have been rewarded in the form of punishment for speaking the truth," Vishwas told reporters after the announcement. In May, he had hinted at quitting the party after allegations of a coup plot surfaced.

The nominations have drawn criticism from opposition party members and former AAP members.

“I used to say, whatever his other faults, Arvind Kejriwal cannot be bought. Defended him against Kapil Mishra’s allegations. Now I don’t know what to say. Speechless, ashamed and numb," Yogendra Yadav, national president of Swaraj India and former AAP member, said on Twitter.

Polls for the three seats will be held on 16 January while the last day for filing nominations is 5 January. AAP has 66 members in the 70-member assembly.

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