NEW DELHI: The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP on Wednesday announced the names of Sanjay Singh, Narayan Das Gupta and Sushil Gupta as the party's nominees for the Rajya Sabha.
The announcement was made by Kejriwal's close associate and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
"Sanjay Singh, ND Gupta and Sushil Gupta are the final names for the three Rajya Sabha seats from Delhi, " Sisodia said while addressing a press conference today.
Sanjay Singh, Narayan Das Gupta & Sushil Gupta and to be Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) Rajya Sabha nominees, announces Manish Sisodia pic.twitter.com/OPFzVxCQD5
— ANI (@ANI) January 3, 2018
While Sanjay Singh is a senior party leader, Sushil Gupta is a businessman and ND Gupta is a chartered accountant by profession.
The central leadership of Delhi's ruling party clearly ignored party heavyweight and one of AAP's founding members Kumar Vishwas in the process.
There were several names in the contention within the AAP for the three seats for the Upper House of Parliament that go to polls in the mid-January.
The election has also created a bitterness in the party.
Probably, this could be the reason why the party delayed the announcement of the candidates.
Senior party leader Kumar Vishwas, who has reportedly been at odds with the AAP central leadership for some time now, was earlier considered to be one of the strongest contenders.
Apparently, due to his present equation with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, he was not considered for the Upper House.
Expressing his anger for not being named AAP's Rajya Sabha nominee, Kumar Vishwas said that he was punished for speaking the truth.
Extending his greetings to those nominated for the Upper House, Kumar Vishwas said, ''I extend my good wishes to those who have been nominated by the party for election to Rajya Sabha.''
However, hitting out at his close friend and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for not nominating him for the Rajya Sabha, the poet-politician said, ''Kejriwal had sometimes back said that I won't kill you but I will make a martyr of you.''
''Today, I have been made a martyr and I humbly accept my martyrdom,'' he added.
Expressing his anger towards the autocratic functioning of the party under Kejriwal, Kumar Vishwas said, ''I have been punished for speaking the truth.''
Kumar Vishwas, a popular AAP leader, however, appealed to the AAP workers to continue their tirade against corruption and one-upmanship in the party.
Apart from him, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh were the other strong candidates for the Upper House.
But, the party this time decided to select candidates from the field of law, economics and social work.
The party had also reportedly approached former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan in October, but he declined the offer.
The move to not field any party leader to the Rajya Sabha is also seen as an attempt to put an end to the intra-party rivalry.
Delhi sends three members to the Rajya Sabha.
Currently, the city-state is being represented by Janardan Dwivedi, Parvez Hashmi, Karan Singh, whose terms end in January next year.
With its brute majority in the 67-member Delhi Legislative Assembly, it won't be much difficult for the party to get its three members elected to the Upper House.
(With Agency inputs)