Former CJI TS Thakur declines AAP's request to contest Rajya Sabha elections


The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is all set to win all three Rajya Sabha seats from Delhi as the party has a brute majority of 67 MLAs in the 70-member assembly.

Sources in AAP said the party leadership isn't likely to "succumb to the pressure tactics" by senior party leader Kumar Vishwas, who has made his desire to be sent to the House of Elders very clear on numerous occasions.

AAP's blockbuster victory in the 2015 Delhi election guarantees that all the three seats in the upper house that fall vacant in January-end will accrue to the party.

Those in favour of sending outsiders to the Rajya Sabha argue that this would help the AAP leadership deal with the internal rift over Rajya Sabha berths.

The leader also said the party was keen to send men and women of eminence to the Rajya Sabha rather than sending its own leaders.

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Earlier, sources close to the party told that the party's senior leaders including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had met the retired Chief Justice and tried convincing him to contest the elections on behalf of AAP.

Mr Vishwas had expected to be the frontrunner in the race for the Rajya Sabha candidature, but the party has not given him any assurance.

"There was a strong opinion within the party that to curb competition and ill feeling among leaders, our choice should be from visionaries who have excelled in their fields. The final decision will be taken by the Political Affairs Committee soon", said a source.

They included former RBI governor, Raghuram Rajan, rebel BJP leaders, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, the founder of Infosys, N Narayana Murthy, Industrialist Sunil Munjal, the Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and former Chief Justice of India TS Thakur. Senior leader Kumar Vishwas has already staked his claim for one seat as his supporters stormed the party office demanding his nomination. The process of filing nominations for three seats, which are at present with the Congress, started on Saturday but there have been no confirmation on these names by the party.

The AAP has not yet officially announced names of its candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls. "It was Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's decision to approach him", said a senior AAP leader. The retiring members are Janardan Dwivedi, Parvez Hashmi and Karan Singh of the Congress.

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