Despite a show of strength by Kumar Vishwas supporters at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) office in New Delhi, he is unlikely to get a berth in the Rajya Sabha on party’s ticket.
A group of around 60 supporters of Kumar Vishwas held a sit-in protest for over four hours prompting the AAP leader to ask them not to create “unrest” in the party for his cause.
In a social media post, Kumar Vishwas drew a parallel between him and Abhmanyu, the teenage Mahabharata warrior, who was surrounded and slain by biggest of rival fighters violating rules of warfare.
VISHWAS NOT IN CONFIDENCE
Taking to Twitter, Kumar Vishwas wrote, “Pl refer to my Nov 26 appeal, Country first, Party next and Person last. Fight for Swaraj, BackToBasics, Transparency but I won’t appreciate any unrest in my name. Abhimanyu is a winner, even if killed(sic).”
But, it does not seem to have impressed the top AAP leadership. “Let them do what they are doing. It is certain that Kumar Vishwas will not be the AAP nominee for the Rajya Sabha election,” said an AAP source, considered close to the top leadership of the party.
“The party cannot succumb to such pressure tactics,” he added. AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is apparently not happy with the public outbursts of Kumar Vishwas taking stand contrary to that of the party in recent times.
Time is running out for the AAP as the last date for filing nomination is January 5 and the election to the Rajya Sabha will be held on January 16. Delhi will elect three members of the Upper House of Parliament in January. The tenure of current Rajya Sabha members – Janardan Dwivedi, Parvez Hashmi and Karan Singh -from Delhi ends on January 27.
Reports suggest that several leaders are lobbying for the Rajya Sabha seat in the AAP while interestingly, the party has tried to bring in more credible faces from outside. However, almost everyone the AAP approached has rejected the Arvind Kejriwal’s offer to become a Rajya Sabha member on the party’s ticket.
The list of personalities who rejected the offer includes former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie – both have been extremely critical of the policies of the Narendra Modi government, former CJI TS Thakur – who retired on sour note over government’s attempt to have a say in appointments in higher judiciary, Infosys founder Narayanmurthy, Nobel Prize winner activist Kailash Satyarthi and industrialist Sunil Munjal.
Though the reasons for rejecting Kejriwal’s offer for a Rajya Sabha seat by the seven personalities are not publicly know, it is believed that they were not comfortable with the policies of the AAP.
CANDIDATES ARE ALREADY ON KEJRIWAL’S MIND?
It is also being said in the party that Arvind Kejriwal may already have decided the names of the candidates, who will be sent to the Rajya Sabha this January. “The decision might have been taken as to who will be the party’s candidate to file nomination for the Rajya Sabha election,” said the source.
Sanjay Singh, AAP national spokesperson and in-charge of political affairs, is believed to be one of the contenders for Rajya Sabha election. Sanjay Singh is seen as the organisational man in the AAP. He is envied by many in the party for his control over the cadres.
AAP leader Ashutosh is another big name in the party who may be sent to the Rajya Sabha. However, Arvind Kejriwal has kept his cards close to his chest. He is likely to convene a meeting of the political affairs committee (PAC), the highest decision making body of the AAP, soon and announce the names of the candidates for approval.