New Delhi: All eyes are, once again, on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The party’s all-powerful Political Affairs Committee (PAC) is likely to meet on Wednesday to decide on which three members they will choose to fill the vacant Rajya Sabha seats. Polls for the same are due on January 16.
On Monday, reports emerged that AAP founding member Sanjay Singh would file his nomination for the post but mystery over the other two names continued. On Tuesday, sources told News18 that the party was considering the name of Sushil Gupta and ND Gupta for the two remaining seats.
Gupta, who has been the Chairman of Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh Club for the last 25 years and chairman of the Punjabi Bagh Co-operative Housing Society for 13 years, is technically, not even a member of the Aam Aadmi Party. However, he is not a stranger to politics.
Gupta started his political career as a student activist of the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and until three months ago, was a member of the Congress party. In 2013, he even contested, albeit unsuccessfully, the Delhi Assembly elections from Moti Nagar on a Congress ticket.
AAP’s likely RS nominee has wide-ranging business interests from land development to private educational and healthcare institutions. Among others, he owns and operates Delhi’s Ganga group of institutions, but when asked how he would describe himself, Gupta told News 18, “Main purely kisaan hoon (I am purely a farmer).”
Gupta also claims he has no knowledge of his name doing the round in AAP circles. “I read about my name being considered for the first time on the news. I am not someone who haggles for power.”
When asked why he quit the Congress, Gupta was cryptic in his response, “See, I don’t believe in political parties. I believe in good people. I want to do work in the health and education sector and I will go with anybody who lets me work in that sphere. When I quit the Congress, I had said I was open to all.”
Gupta’s name, though, has ruffled feathers even among Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s inner circle.
One AAP MLA, who is considered close to Kejriwal, said, “I heard that Sushil Gupta’s name was doing the rounds and I am disappointed. He is not someone who is seen with a lot of respect. He often hosts politicians at the Punjabi Bagh Club. He has come from the Congress. There are too many red flags. If this name comes up, I will oppose it. Isse achcha Kumar Vishwas ko hi bhej dete.