AAP Announces Nominees For Rajya Sabha Elections, No Seat For Kumar Vishwas

Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia (Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today (3 January) confirmed the names of Sanjay Singh, Sushil Gupta and N D Gupta as the party’s nominees for the 16 January Rajya Sabha elections, Times of India has reported.

Singh is a prominent leader of the party, second only to Manish Sisodia, and was in charge of the party’s campaign in 2016 Punjab elections.

Sushil Gupta, a social activist who had contested the last assembly elections on a Congress ticket, is considered close to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. He had declared assets worth 164 crore in his affidavit in 2013 elections for the state assembly. According to Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, he has charitable schools in 14 districts of Delhi and Haryana.

N D Gupta, a chartered accountant by profession, has been acting as the economic advisor to the party. According to TOI, he is considered one of the country’s foremost expert on Goods and Services Tax (GST) and has authored a number of books related to accountancy and business. He could prove to be an asset for AAP, which has been attacking the government over the implementation of GST.

The name of founder member Kumar Vishwas, who is currently at odds with Kejriwal and other senior AAP leaders, did not make it to the list. AAP’s decision to not consider his name exposes fissures within the party which first appeared after Vishwas was accused of planning a coup against Kejriwal. He was later sidelined in the party and was accused of being an “RSS agent”.

Vishwas, who was rebellious about his claim to a seat in the Rajya Sabha, went public with his battle against the party and Kejriwal after the names were announced.

“A year-and-a-half ago in a meeting, Kejriwal smiled at me and said, we will hit you politically but ensure that you do not attain martyrdom. My only request is accept my martyrdom, and there is one rule for the martyrs, which is do not play with the dead body,” Vishwas was quoted by News18 as saying.

“I was punished for speaking the truth, and I also know that it is very difficult to stay in the party if we have disagreements with you (Kejriwal). Everyone has to fight their own battles, whether it is Ram or Gautam Buddha,” he added.