The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday, 13 December appointed senior party person and Rajya Sabha MP Sandeep Pathak as its National General Secretary (Organisation).
AAP, which is now eligible for the status of a national party after its performance in Gujarat, in a statement said, "Aam Aadmi Party hereby appoints Dr. Sandeep Pathak as the Rashtriya Sangathan Mahamantri (National General Secretary Organisation). He will also be a Permanent Invitee to the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the party.”
Pathak was the election-in-charge of the party during Assembly elections in Punjab and Gujarat held in February and December this year respectively. The decision comes as AAP established its footprint in BJP-dominated Gujarat, winning five seats with a vote share of nearly 13 percent.
After taking on the new role, Pathak is likely to become the de-facto number two on organisational matters since AAP doesn't have a national vice president or working presidents. Even in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, this is the second most important organisational post.
"His main task is to ensure Arvind Kejriwal's vision is implemented at every level in the party organisation," party sources told The Quint.
"Pathak's speciality lies in creating organisational units in areas where AAP isn't strong. He sets up a war room, lays down processes and a chain of command, and replicates this at different levels," the party source added.
Who is Sandeep Pathak?
Pathak became a Rajya Sabha member after AAP won the Assembly elections in Punjab this year. The Arvind Kejriwal-led party won a landslide 92 seats of the total 117 seats.
Until 2020, he was an associate professor in the Department of Energy Science and Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. He received his Ph.D from the University of Cambridge in 2011 on high-temperature superconducting materials. He then pursued higher studies from Oxford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
He joined the Aam Aadmi Party in 2016, after he left MIT and returned to Delhi. He was introduced into the party by Ashish Khetan
Pathak was born in a small village in Chhattisgarh. Both his parents were farmers who used to lease out land to people for work.
Congratulating Pathak on his new role, Kejriwal tweeted, "We have to build an AAP sangathan in every nook and corner of this country." To this, Pathak responded: