AAP picks Harbhajan Singh, Raghav Chadha, IIT professor Sandeep Pathak for Rajya Sabha elections
After winning 92 out of 117 assembly seats, the party's strength in the upper house of the Parliament will increase from three to eight. Five Rajya Sabha seats from Punjab will fall vacant on April 9
CHANDIGARH: Assistant professor of IIT-Delhi Sandeep Pathak, who is also the principal strategist and campaign designer for AAP in Punjab, where the party won and formed the government, Punjab co-in-charge and Delhi MLA Raghav Chadha, former cricketer Harbhajan Singh, founder of Lovely Professional University Ashok Mittal and textile businessman Sanjeev Arora are all set to go the Rajya Sabha as they are on the nomination list of the Aam Aadmi Party to the upper house of the Parliament.
While Pathak and Chadha reached the state assembly here today and are currently filling their nominations, the other three will be reaching soon as today is the last day for nomination filing for the five seats for the upper house from the state and scrutiny will happen tomorrow.
The last date for withdrawal of nominations is March 24 and elections will take place on March 31.
Professor Pathak, who hails from Chhattisgarh, is a faculty member in the Department of Energy Science and Engineering and has done his Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 2011.
His research was focused on the fabrication of Perovskite-based photovoltaic devices. He was AAP’s election strategist in Delhi and now in Punjab, besides being the campaign designer of the party.
While Raghav Chadha is the sitting MLA of the party from Rajinder Nagar in Delhi and co-in charge of Punjab.
Former cricketer Harbhajan Singh hails from Jalandhar, while the founder of Lovely Professional University Ashok Mittal and Ludhiana based textile businessman Sanjeev Arora were picked up by the party.
AAP is set to win all the five seats falling vacant as the party has 92 MLAs in the 117 member house.
It is unlikely that any other political party will file nominations for the Rajya Sabha elections as no other party independently has the strength to elect a member.
The members to the Rajya Sabha are elected on the principle of proportional representation.
The terms of five MPs of Rajya Sabha from Punjab are ending on April 9.
They are Partap Bajwa and SS Dullo from Congress, Naresh Gujral and SS Dhindsa from Shiromani Akali Dal, and Shwait Malik from the BJP.
The term of the other two MPs Balwinder Singh Bhunder from SAD and Ambika Soni from Congress will end on July 4 this year and elections to these two seats would be held later this year.
Hitting out at AAP for sending non-Punjabis to Rajya Sabha from Punjab, Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira tweeted, "If this list of probable Rajya Sabha candidates by @AamAadmiPartyis true its most saddening news for Punjab n will be the first discrimination for our state. We’ll oppose tooth n nail any non-punjabi being nominated. This is also a joke with AAP workers who have worked for the party."