Days after recording a resounding victory in the Punjab assembly polls, Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has now turned heads through its pick for the Rajya Sabha, the Upper house of the Parliament. The party has announced five candidates for Rajya Sabha from Punjab and one among the five is reputed Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh. With the AAP's majority in Punjab, the cricketer is all set to walk into the Rajya Sabha for the first time.
According to reports, the AAP has on Monday- March 21 nominated Harbhajan Singh and four others as the Rajya Sabha candidates from Punjab. It has been reported that five Rajya Sabha in Punjab will fall vacant next month and Monday is the last day to file nomination. Apart from Harbhajan Singh, AAP has also nominated Delhi Jal Board vice-chairman Raghav Chadha, IIT professor Dr Sandeep Pathak, Chancellor of Lovely Professional University, Ashok Mittal, and founder of Krishna Pran Breast Cancer care trust, Sanjiv Arora for Rajya Sabha.
After filing the nomination, Harbhajan Singh said, "My focus will be on the development of sports and connecting the youth of Punjab with sports. A country like India should win 200 medals in Olympics, I will do everything to promote sports in the country." Following his nomination, another candidate Raghav Chadha had also promised that he will raise issues of Punjab in the Upper House of the Parliament.
He said, "I want to thank Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann for nominating me at such a young age. I will raise the issue of Punjab's people and protect their interests in the Parliament." AAP has released the video of Harbhajan Singh filing his nomination. In its social media post, the party wrote, "Cricketer Harbhajan Singh files his nomination as AAP's Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab."
"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 added. As Harbhajan Singh is ready for the next big innings, his fans from across the nation have been sending their wishes to him for becoming an MP. As five candidates have filed their nominations for five seats, it is less likely that there would be an election and if the state warrants an election, it will be held on March 31.
Harbhajan Singh will be the second cricketer-turned-MP in the current Parliament after Gautam Gambhir, who is a BJP MP. In the recently-held assembly polls in Punjab, AAP has ousted the Congress rule from the state and swept 92 assembly seats of 117 seats. With these five Rajya Sabha candidates, the AAP's power in the Upper House is all set to rise from three to eight seats.
Harbhajan Singh has made his Test debut in 1998 and went on to play 103 Tests for India where he got 417 wickets. He also played 236 ODIs where he took 269 wickets. The 41-year-old cricketer is a native of Jalandhar. AAP hopes that the cricketer will work in strengthening the sports infrastructure in Punjab, including building a sports university, and help is consolidating the party's connection with the youth.
Cricketer @harbhajan_singh files his nomination as AAP's Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab.— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) March 21, 2022
After making India Proud as a bowling legend, Mr. Turbanator is now going to raise his voice for the people of Punjab in Parliament 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/nqPmfzw6f7