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Kumar Vishwas Out, Deepak Bajpai In: Meet AAP’s New Rajasthan Unit Chief

Senior party leader and spokesperson Ashutosh also announced that the party will be contesting the 2018 Rajasthan Assembly elections.

Uday Singh Rana | News18.com

Updated:April 11, 2018, 3:07 PM IST
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Kumar Vishwas Out, Deepak Bajpai In: Meet AAP’s New Rajasthan Unit Chief
File photo of Kumar Vishwas (left) and Dilip Pandey (Right)
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New Delhi: Replacing poet-turned-politician Kumar Vishwas, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday announced Deepak Bajpai as its new Rajasthan unit president. The move comes less than a year after Vishwas, in May last year, replaced Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia as the party’s Rajasthan unit chief.

Senior party leader and spokesperson Ashutosh also announced that the party will be contesting the 2018 Rajasthan Assembly elections.

“The last time elections were held in Rajasthan, there were assembly elections happening in Delhi as well. Over the last five years, we have seen that the Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan has totally failed and that is why we think Rajasthan needs a credible alternative. AAP has been working to build the party on the ground in the state and we are ready to fight the upcoming Rajasthan Assembly elections,” Ashutosh said.

The man who is replacing Vishwas is 44-year-old Deepak Bajpai. A former journalist, Bajpai worked with national newspapers and television channels. Before joining the Aam Aadmi Party, he had been working as a social worker through his NGO Bharat Ashara Social Organization (BASO). It was his experience as a former journalist that was valuable to the AAP.

During the 2013 and 2015 Delhi Assembly elections, Bajpai was in-charge of chalking out the AAP’s media strategy. It was during this time that he became a trusted lieutenant for Kejriwal. “Every day, he would hold daily briefings for us. For a new party, it would be very embarrassing if even one of the 70 candidates went off message. To make sure that everyone was in sync with the party message, Bajpai would hold briefings with us on how to approach an issue and make sure that all 70 of us were on the same page,” said an AAP leader.

In 2017, Bajpai was appointed as the AAP’s National Treasurer. He is an ex-officio member of the AAP’s all-powerful Political Affairs Committee (PAC) and a member of the AAP National Executive. Over the last two months, Bajpai has been touring Rajasthan to survey the field. He has even rented a house in Jaipur. “The party had sent him to Rajasthan to understand the situation on the ground. In view of the upcoming elections, his job is to strengthen the party organisation. He has been living there for the last month and a half,” Ashutosh said.

News agency PTI quoted him as saying, "Kumar Vishwas was not able to devote time for election preparations due to his preoccupations."

AAP's founder-member, Vishwas, has recently been critical of party chief Arvind Kejriwal. Earlier this month, he had released a video on his official YouTube channel in which he spoke on nationalism and chided all those who follow cults of personality. He mentioned PM Narendra Modi, Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi by name.
| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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