SGT Times Reporter
Chandigarh, March 21
Ex-cricketer Harbhajan Singh, IIT faculty Sandeep Pathak, Lovely Professional University founder Ashok Kumar Mittal, Ludhiana businessman Sanjeev Arora and Delhi MLA Raghav Chadha are the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s nominees for Rajya Sabha from Punjab, where the party won a massive victory in recent elections.
Five Rajya Sabha seats will fall vacant on April 9 and names have to be submitted today for elections to be held on March 31.
All the five candidates filed their nomination papers today.
Popularly known as ‘Turbanator’ in cricketing circles, the former Team India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, 41, filed his nomination as an AAP candidate.
He came wearing a yellow turban like Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann seated next to him.
“After making India Proud as a bowling legend, Mr. Turbanator is now going to raise his voice for the people of Punjab in Parliament,” AAP tweeted, sharing a video.
Before elections, Harbhajan Singh had met with former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu fuelling speculation of his debut in politics as a Congress member.
But the former cricketer had later rubbished all speculations.
Sandeep Pathak, an assitant professor of Physics at the premier IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), is believed to be close to AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann.
Sources say Professor Pathak was instrumental in AAP’s victory in Punjab, as he stayed in Punjab for three years for poll preps and built AAP’s organisation at the booth-level.
Senior AAP leader Raghav Chadha is an MLA in the Delhi assembly and one of the party’s top leaders.
At 33, Chadha is set to become the youngest Rajya Sabha member.
“My leader Arvind Kejriwal and my elder brother Bhagwant Mann have shown so much confidence in me and have given me a big responsibility at such a young age. I hope I will be able to meet their expectations,” Chadha said speaking to reporters.
Ashok Kumar Mittal is the founder of Lovely Professional University and an educationist.
Sanjeev Arora is a Ludhiana-based businessman known for his cancer charities.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has appointed Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Punjab Dr S Karuna Raju as the Observer for the poll.
“The Commission has decided to appoint you as its Observer for the aforesaid elections in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 20B of the Representation of the People Act, 1951,” reads the letter from ECI addressed to CEO Punjab Dr Raju.
“You are required to remain present throughout the process of scrutiny of nomination papers, polling and counting of votes so as to oversee that the procedures laid down as per statute and extant instructions of the Commission are strictly adhered to,” the letter further reads adding that in case any deviation is noticed, the same may be brought to the notice of the Commission immediately.
The ECI has also asked the CEO Dr. Raju to furnish the report after the completion of the elections. (End).