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

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

Knowledgeable sources in AAP told newspaper 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 contest the elections.

This isn’t the first time AAP’s overture to a prominent name for RS seat from its kitty has not found favour 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, he turned down the offer very politely. He didn’t 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.

Despite repeated attempt, CJI Thakur couldn’t be reached for comments.

Three Rajya Sabha seats from Delhi will fall vacant in the second half of January and AAP, with a brute 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 isn’t likely to “succumb to the pressure tactics” by senior party leader Kumar Vishwas, who has made his desire to be sent to the House of Elders very clear on numerous occasions.

“Vishwas has spoken to Kejriwal about his wish. But, the manner in which he is trying to browbeat the leadership hasn’t gone down well with the rest of the leadership. I don’t 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.

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