NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday named Sanjay Singh, ND Gupta and Sushil Gupta as its candidates for Rajya Sabha elections. They will file nominations on Thursday. However, the decision has created a rift in the party as various MLAs and other leaders, including AAP’s founding member Kumar Vishwas, voiced discontent over the decision.
Former party leaders like Yogendra Yadav, Mayank Gandhi and Kapil Mishra, among others, alleged that AAP sold the Rajya Sabha tickets. Interestingly, several party MLAs wished only Singh, ignoring the other two. The elections are scheduled on January 16. The names were finalised at a meeting at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence, attended by around 56 MLAs.
Sushil Gupta is a Delhi Based businessman who contested 2013 Assembly polls on Congress ticket while N D Gupta is considered an expert on GST and has authored several books on accountancy and business. He shares very good relation with various ministers of the Modi government and can help the party to deal with the BJP.
“I have been ‘rewarded’ today for speaking truth. Arvind once told me smilingly, ‘sir you will be killed but we won’t let you become a martyr’. I congratulate him and accept my martyrdom,” a disgruntled Kumar Vishwas said after Deputy CM Manish Sisodia announced the names of the candidates.
Vishwas said he had been punished for his plainspeaking. “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, JNU incident..., for which I have been rewarded in the form of punishment,” he said.
The names of several other contenders were doing the rounds. These included Ashutosh, Ashish Khetan, Atishi Marlena and Raghav Chadha.