Ex-CJI TS Thakur says no to AAP’s Rajya Sabha offer

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The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is learned to have approached former Chief Justice of India TS Thakur for one of the three Rajya Sabha seats from Delhi. However, the jurist is learned to have turned down the request.

Knowledgeable sources in AAP told DNA that senior party leaders, including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, recently met former CJI Thakur, who retired about a year ago, to request him to agree to the elections.

This is not the first time AAP’s overture to a prominent name for RS seat from its kitty has not found favor with the person concerned. The party had earlier this year approached former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan too, with Rajan telling the party that he had no plans to leave his full-time academic position at a prominent US university.

“While CJI Thakur heard our leaders, I have turned down the offer very politely.” He did not seem interested in electoral politics We approached him because of his stature and impeccable credentials, both as a lawyer and Judge It was Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s decision to approach him, “said a senior AAP leader.

Without repeated attempt, CJI Thakur could not be reached for comments.

Three Rajya Sabha seats from Delhi will fall vacant in the second half of January and AAP, with a gross majority in the 70-member Delhi Assembly is assured of clinching all three seats. The retiring members are Janardan Dwivedi, Parvez Hashmi and Karan Singh of the Congress.

Sources in AAP said the party leadership is not likely to “succumb to the pressure tactics” by senior party leader Kumar Vishwas, who has made his desire to be to the House of Elders very clear on numerous occasions.

“Vishwas has spoken to Kejriwal about his wish, but the way in which he has tried to address the leadership has not gone down with the rest of the leadership, I do not think he will be nominated,” said the AAP leader

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.

While it is still trying to persuade former Union minister Arun Shourie to be one of its candidates, it is also in talks with a Delhi-based chartered accountant and an ophthalmologist, involved with an NGO, for the same.

“While we want eminent persons, party leaders like Sanjay Singh and Ashutosh are also being considered, the final decision will be taken by the Political Affairs Committee soon,” said the source.