AAP’s five picks for Rajya Sabha include Harbhajan, Raghav Chadha, LPU founder Ashok Mittal


The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has picked former cricketer Harbhajan Singh, IIT Delhi associate professor Sandeep Pathak, Delhi MLA Raghav Chadha, Lovely Professional University (LPU) founder and chancellor Ashok Mittal and industrialist Sanjeev Arora as its representatives in the Rajya Sabha, party officials confirmed on Monday.

Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann accompanied the party nominees to the Vidhan Sabha secretariat to file the nominations.

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After winning 92 seats in the Punjab Assembly elections, the AAP got the chance to nominate five members to the Upper House as the terms of five members from Punjab have either ended or will end soon. The last day to nominate the members is Monday and the elections will be held on March 31.

Chadha, 33, will be the youngest Rajya Sabha member. An MLA from Delhi’s Rajinder Nagar, he was the party in-charge in Punjab and spent most of his time in the state over the past several months. He is also the AAP’s national spokesperson.

Pathak has been working with the AAP for a few years, but has mostly remained behind the scenes. According to party insiders, he was instrumental in building the strategy for the polls.

According to party sources, while the names of Harbhajan Singh, Chadha and Pathak were finalised last week, intense discussions spilling over to late Monday morning were seen for the remaining two names.

While Harbhajan Singh and Mittal belong to Jalandhar, Arora hails from Ludhiana. Though Harbhajan was approached by the Congress ahead of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections, sources close to the ex-cricketer said he was not interested in Assembly politics.

By April 9, five seats in the Rajya Sabha from Punjab will be vacant. The outgoing MPs are Partap Bajwa and Shamsher Dullo from the Congress, Shwait Malik from the BJP, SAD (Sanyukt) chief Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and the SAD’s Naresh Gujral.