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AAP’s Rajya Sabha nominees: Take a look at who said what, from Yogendra Yadav to Anjali Damania

The AAP on Wednesday nominated Sanjay Singh, Sushil Gupta and Narain Dass Gupta as its nominees for Rajya Sabha evoking sharp reactions.

delhi Updated: Jan 04, 2018 12:31 IST
AAP,Rajya Sabha,AAP in RS
AAP convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal came under criticism from former colleagues and opposition members over the choice of nominees for Rajya Sabha. (PTI FILE)

The Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) nominations for the Rajya Sabha elections announced on Wednesday evoked sharp reactions from opposition parties as well as former party members.

Both the Congress and the BJP mocked the AAP for ignoring party veterans while former party members and India Against Corruption colleagues called it the final blow.

The AAP on Wednesday nominated its founder member Sanjay Singh, besides Sushil Gupta and Narain Dass Gupta to Rajya Sabha. Sushil Gupta is a Delhi-based businessman while Narain Dass is chartered accountant and do not belong to the AAP fold.

National president of Swaraj India, Yogendra Yadav, suggested that the AAP has struck financial deals with Sushil Gupta. “I used to say, whatever his other faults @ArvindKejriwal cannot be bought. Defended him against Kapil Mishra’s allegations. Now I don’t know what to say. Speechless, ashamed and numb,” he said.

Lawyer, activist and founder member of Swaraj Abhiyan, Prashant Bhuashan, called AAP’s choice of candidates its final denouement. “AAP giving Rajya Sabha tickets to people who have not distinguished themselves in public service&have no expertise on anything to qualify for the RS, by ignoring the voices of volunteers, is the final denouement of a party which started with such promise&is now totally degenerate,” he said.

Former party member and convener of AAP’s Maharashtra unit, Anjali Damania, who had quit the party in 2015, also expressed disappointment over the selection of candidates. “Even after quitting, I did not speak against AAP because I had a corner for AAP in my heart. I had hopes that it would do a course correction. But now I am convinced that AAP ideology is over. From now on, it is like any other party for me.”

Activist and a former member of India Against Corruption movement, Mayank Gandhi said the party’s choice of candidates had left him shocked. Gandhi who was also among the founding members of AAP, wrote on Twitter, “Think. Why was Sushil Gupta selected? Now there is no diff between AAP and BSP. This leadership isn’t worth supporting. I can today say w/o any doubt - AAP has become corrupt. After communal & caste vote bank politics - we hv crossed the last bastion - CORRUPTION”. Gandhi has quit the party in 2015.

Meanwhile, Delhi BJP president, Manoj Tiwari, said the announcement of the AAP’s Rajya Sabha candidates belied its anti-corruption plank based on which it had stormed to power in Delhi.

“Rajya Sabha is regarded as the upper and respected house of Parliament. Allegation of ‘deals’ against Kejriwal for nominations has not only maligned his image but also Parliament. Kejriwal has disregarded his own party leaders and shown arbitrariness. It has been established that he is not a democratic head of a political party but a Tughlaqi ruler,” said the BJP leader.

Delhi Congress president, Ajay Maken, took a swipe at Kejirwal for choosing his former party member for the coveted post. Sushil Gupta had quit Congress in November last year. He was also the Congress candidate for the Moti Nagar assembly segment in the 2013 Delhi polls, but he lost the seat.

Maken said even after five years of its existence, the AAP had to look for candidates in other parties. “On November 28, Sushil Gupta came to me to tender his resignation. When I asked the reason he said that he had been promised a Rajya Sabha berth by the AAP,” he said.

Sushil headed the traders’ cell of the Congress in Delhi.

“Kejriwalji, you joined politics to bring change. But you have changed. You picked a leader from Congress and another from BJP,” Maken tweeted in Hindi.

The Congress leader claimed that Narain Dass, who was termed a ‘GST expert’ by Kejriwal, was the ‘biggest supporter’ of the tax reform measure implemented by the Narendra Modi government last year.

Leader of opposition in Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta, also criticised the move of the party. “AAP that was made from the ashes of Anna Andolan, on the promise of representing the common man, has nominated 2 khaas Aadmis, Narayan Das Gupta and Sushil Gupta, to the Rajya Sabha. Far from “aam aadmi” it is a party of “khaas aadmi”, he wrote on Twitter.

First Published: Jan 04, 2018 11:42 IST