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Raghav Chadha, 2 other AAP leaders sworn in as Rajya Sabha members

Along with Chadha, industrialist Sanjeev Arora and educationist Ashok Mittal also took the oath as their party’s Rajya Sabha members from Punjab. With this, the AAP's tally in the Upper House has doubled from three to six.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Raghav Chadha at Parliament house on Monday (ANI)
Published on May 02, 2022 11:43 PM IST

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Raghav Chadha, industrialist Sanjeev Arora and educationist Ashok Mittal took the oath as their party’s Rajya Sabha members from Punjab on Monday.

With this, AAP’s tally in the Upper House has doubled from three to six. At least two others — AAP’s election strategist Sandeep Pathak and cricketer Harbhajan Singh — are expected to take oaths in the upcoming monsoon session of the Parliament, according to party functionaries familiar with the matter.

Rajya Sabha chairperson Venkaiah Naidu administered the oaths on Monday in his chamber at Parliament House. All the three leaders were elected unopposed from Punjab in March.

Once all five nominated AAP MPs take the oath of office, the party’s strength in the Rajya Sabha will go up to eight. All three existing AAP MPs in Rajya Sabha — Sanjay Singh, ND Gupta and Sushil Kumar — are from Delhi.

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The party is likely to gain more strength in terms of numbers in the Upper house in July as two more current MPs from Punjab are likely to retire, paving the way for two other nominated MPs from AAP.

So, by July, the AAP is likely to become the fifth biggest party in the Upper House after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),Congress, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).

Chadha was AAP’s legislator from the Rajinder Nagar constituency in Delhi since the party’s victory in the assembly polls in February 2020. He then resigned from the post in March this year after the Arvind Kejriwal-led party won a thumping majority in the Punjab Assembly elections by winning 92 of the 117 seats. Chadha was the co-incharge of AAP’s Punjab unit for its poll campaign.

“A new chapter of my life is beginning today. It’s a big day for me and my family. Today, I’m going to take oath as a Rajya Sabha MP. I’d like to thank my guru and leader Arvind Kejriwal and my big brother, Bhagwant Mann. I’ll stand up to everyone’s expectations,” Chadha told reporters ahead of the oath-taking ceremony.

Also Read | AAP's Raghav Chadha on being sworn in as Rajya Sabha MP: 'New chapter of life'

Mittal is the founder of Phagwara-based Lovely Professional University (LPU), the first private university in the state and one of the largest in India. Arora, a businessman from Ludhiana, runs the Krishna Pran Breast Cancer Charitable Trust which he founded after his parents lost their lives to cancer. He is also on the governing board of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana and a member of the apex council of the Punjab Cricket Association.

When asked, AAP’s MP-elect Sandeep Pathak said he could not take the oath of office on Monday because he was travelling. “I and [Harbhajan] Singh are planning to take the oath of office during the monsoon session. Let’s see. Today, I could not because of prior engagement for which I was out of Delhi,” he said.

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