Aam Aadmi Party has reportedly embarked on finalising its three names that it intends to send to the Rajya Sabha. The party sources said that Kumar Vishwas was not going to be the party’s choice.
This after a group of Vishwas supporters on Friday barged inside the AAP office in Delhi while demanding the nomination of the poet-politician for the Rajya Sabha seat.
One senior leader said, “The question doesn’t arise (that Vishwas will be sent to the Rajya Sabha). Certainly not after all the shenanigans he and his supporters have been part of in the recent days.”
Some media reports suggested that AAP had approached seven top names who had achieved remarkable feat in their own fields. One of them was the former RBI governor, Raghuram Rajan, who had publicly turned down the offer.
The party also reportedly approached the rebel BJP leaders, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, the founder of Infosys, N Narayana Murthy, Industrialist Sunil Munjal, the Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and former Chief Justice of India TS Thakur.
Delhi has three Rajya Sabha seats and the ruling AAP is all set to send all three MPs to the Upper House because of its historic landslide that the party won in February 2015 assembly polls. The party had won 67 out of 70 seats then.
Vishwas has never hidden his aspiration when asked if he wanted the AAP to send him to the Rajya Sabha. Speaking to ABP News channel in 2016, Vishwas had said, ”I’m not going to be hypocritical here. I do want to go to Rajya Sabha because I think I have a lot to contribute in the discourse in the parliament.”
More recently, Vishwas appears to have fallen out with the top leadership including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Supporters of Vishwas have long felt that their leader was sidelined within the party by the AAP leadership. In November, Vishwas had issued a warning to his party that it must desist from the culture of projecting an individual as the face of the movement.
In October, AAP’s decision to revoke the suspension of its MLA, Amantullah Khan, had left Vishwas incensed prompting him to take a potshot at his party’s leadership by calling Khan just a mask with the mastermind being somebody else.
Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan was suspended by AAP in May this year after he accused senior party leader Kumar Vishwas of being an “RSS-BJP agent”. The suspension was widely seen as a compromise after Vishwas had threatened to quit the party.
Weeks later, another prominent face within the AAP, Dilip Pandey, had questioned Vishwas why the poet-politician was soft on BJP in Rajasthan.
In a tweet, the former convener of Delhi’s AAP unit had asked, “Brother, you profusely abuse Congress supporters, but you say you wouldn’t speak against (Rajasthan chief minister) Vasundhara (Raje Scindia) in Rajasthan? Why this?”
This was after Vishwas was handed over the responsibility to manage the party’s affairs in Rajasthan.
The election to the three seats for the Rajya Sabha is expected to take place in January next year.