- Kumar Vishwas said "punished for speaking the truth"
- AAP nominated Sanjay Singh, Sushil Gupta and ND Gupta
- Manish Sisodia introduced the two Mr Guptas as eminent people
Kumar Vishwas' supporters had picketed the party office demanding that their leader, who founded AAP along with Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, be sent to parliament. But his frequent run-ins with Mr Kejriwal, who accuses Mr Vishwas of plotting to overthrow him as AAP chief, cancelled the chances of the poet-politician.
AAP, which was served at least seven rejections by well-known people it approached to be its Rajya Sabha nominees, including former RBI chief Raghuram Rajan, announced today that it was nominating its senior leader Sanjay Singh, along with a Delhi-based businessman Sushil Gupta and a chartered accountant ND Gupta.
Manish Sisodia introduced the two Mr Guptas as eminent people, listing their public service and work in the party.
"Whatever the name of those Guptas, congratulations to Kejriwal and them for loyal work to AAP...They will now sit where Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Indira Gandhi and other stalwarts sat...I have to say, I have never felt more disappointed with this party. They couldn't have been more blatant about their shady dealings," Mr Vishwas said.
He said his criticism of several decisions taken by party boss Mr Kejriwal since last year were "my honest opinions and I have been punished for that," adding, "I was told by Kejriwal you have died but I will not let you become a martyr...Today I can say, don't interfere with a dead body. Don't spread the bad smell."
"I'm speechless, stunned and ashamed," said former AAP leader and Swaraj India founder Yogendra Yadav, adding "I used to say, whatever his other faults Arvind Kejriwal cannot be bought... Now I don't know what to say."
The decision to field Mr Singh and the Guptas was taken at Chief Minister Kejriwal's residence in a meeting attended by around 56 party lawmakers this morning. AAP's highest decision making body, the Political Affairs Committee or PAC, met soon after and formally endorsed the decision. Kumar Vishwas, who is a member of the PAC, was not present.
Rajya Sabha elections for the three Delhi seats will be held on January 16. AAP with 66 MLAs in Delhi's 70-member assembly is set to win all three; members of a state's assembly vote in the Rajya Sabha elections.