The Aam Aadmi Party appears split over Rajya Sabha nominations, with a section in the party suggesting that it should nominate outsiders to the Upper House, an AAP leader has said.
Elections to three Rajya Sabha seats from Delhi would be held on January 16. The AAP, which enjoys a brute majority in the 70-member Delhi Assembly, is all set to win all the three seats. A group of AAP leaders has emphasised on sending to the Rajya Sabha people from the fields of economics, law and social work. This would also help the AAP leadership deal with the internal rift over Rajya Sabha berths.
The AAP had approached former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan in this regard but he declined the offer. There were reports that the party talked to former Chief Justice of India TS Thakur who also did not agree to it. Many in the AAP view it as a tactic to counter senior leader Kumar Vishwas, a strong contender for a Rajya Sabha berth.
However, his nomination is unlikely given the uneasy equation he has with some senior AAP leaders, the party leader said. But if other leaders are given preference over Vishwas, who has support of several MLAs and volunteers, the rift in the party could widen. Another section of the AAP is in favour of sending senior party leaders to the Upper House.
On Thursday, supporters of Vishwas pitched tents in the party office demanding that leaders who have worked in the anti-corruption movement should be sent to the Rajya Sabha. Names of senior party leader Sanjay Singh and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s close confidant Ashutosh are doing the rounds. However, Kejriwal has kept the cards close to his chest.
“Many leaders who are in the core decision-making body of the party are themselves in the race. So it is Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia who will decide on the nominations,” another AAP leader said. The last date to file nominations for the three Rajya Sabha seats is January 5.