AAP national spokesperson Sanjay Singh is the frontrunner as the party’s nominee for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls in Delhi next month, it is learnt. AAP is supposed to nominate three people to the Rajya Sabha, and party sources said a final decision will be taken at the meeting of the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), the party’s highest decision-making body. The meeting is likely only after January 2, when party chief Arvind Kejriwal returns from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The Rajya Sabha polls will be held on January 16, and the last date for making nominations is January 5. With a majority of 67 MLAs in the 70-member Assembly, AAP should have no problem winning the three seats. While AAP leaders, including Singh, did not comment on the possibility of his nomination, a source said, “Discussions are going on, but Singh is definitely a frontrunner. He has been asked by the party to make preparations. A final decision will be taken by the PAC, along with the decision on the two other seats.”
The developments come against the backdrop of a rift in the party, and AAP leader Kumar Vishwas making his desire for candidature to the Rajya Sabha clear. In May, Delhi MLA Amanatullah Khan had called Vishwas an “RSS agent”, and Vishwas had threatened to quit. At the time, the AAP was still reeling under losses in the MCD and Punjab assembly polls, and there were fears of the party “breaking up”.
While Vishwas was assuaged, he continued to make repeated references to a “conspiracy” to stop his ascent to the Rajya Sabha. Recently, when his supporters took over the party’s Delhi office during a protest, AAP termed it a “BJP-sponsored invasion”.
Apart from being the national spokesperson, the spokesperson for the party’s PAC and the National Executive, Singh is also AAP’s in-charge for political affairs in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. A senior party leader said, “He has been involved with the party since its inception in 2012. Others in the party have come from varied fields, some left their jobs and others were activists. But Singh has always been a street fighter with a very political mind.”
A mechanical engineer by profession, he was a member of Anna Hazare’s team and spoke on behalf of it during India Against Corruption movement. Before that, he was a political activist, working on issues related to labour and corruption, particularly in Uttar Pradesh.
Singh was the Punjab in-charge ahead of the 2017 assembly polls in the state. Although the party lost, a senior AAP leader said, “The party’s central leadership never doubted his abilities. AAP ended up becoming the main opposition after all.”