AAP names candidates for Rajya Sabha: Sanjay Singh, ND Gupta and Sushil Gupta to represent party in Upper House

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has announced its candidates for the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, and has named Sanjay Singh, ND Gupta and Sushil Gupta to the Upper House of Parliament. The decision was taken by the party's Political Affairs Committee.

Elections to three Rajya Sabha seats from Delhi would be held on 16 January. The AAP, which enjoys an overwhelming majority in the 70-member Delhi Assembly, is set to win all three seats.

Sanjay Singh is a member of AAP's Political Affairs Committee and is known as the 'Sankat Mochan' of the party, reported News18. Singh had emerged as a trusted lieutenant of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, second to only Manish Sisodia. He is the go-to person when it comes to tricky negotiations and conflict resolutions, and has been the campaign committee in-charge of three elections although he himself hasn't contested any. Born in 1972 in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh, Singh was an activist before joining AAP.

ND Gupta is a chartered accountant. Among the AAP brass, opinions on his professional credentials are varied. Interestingly, his nomination to the Rajya Sabha comes at a time when the AAP is embroiled with income tax notices over fund raising allegedly done through dubious means.

File image of AAP leader Sanjay Singh. PTI

File image of AAP leader Sanjay Singh. PTI

Sushil Gupta is a Delhi-based businessman whose net worth is over Rs 164 crore. He was earlier associated with the Congress. He fought 2013 Delhi Assembly election on a Congress ticket from Motinagar. Despite sparing no expense, he lost that race and faded into oblivion. He joined the AAP a month ago, but party insiders didn't read much into that. The media didn't give him much coverage either.

Firstpost had earlier reported that Kejriwal's preference for relatively unknown politicians like Sushil and ND Gupta at the cost of Vishwas and Ashutosh is surprising. "Who is Sushil Gupta? Who is ND Gupta?" is the common refrain. Party leaders are at a loss to explain what prompted their chief to select them for the coveted parliamentary post.

News18 reported that there is unease within AAP over the nominees. The party was looking for candidates who could take on the ruling BJP in the Rajya Sabha and amplify its voice beyond Delhi. Will Sushil and ND Gupta be able to perform that role? The party was also on the lookout for a strong legal voice with just two days to go for nominations, this is also ruled out.

Other candidates considered by AAP

The AAP had approached former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan in this regard but he declined the offer. There were reports that the party talked to the former chief justice of India TS Thakur who also did not accept the party's offer. Other names which did the rounds were BJP leaders and former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, Infosys founder Narayana Murthy and Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi.

The tenure of the current members Janardan Dwivedi, Parvez Hashmi and Karan Singh of the Congress will end on 27 January.

The last date to file nominations for the three Rajya Sabha seats is 5 January.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jan 03, 2018 14:10 PM

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