BJP MPs and senior party leaders had just one advice for Manoj Tiwari, who was appointed the party’s Delhi chief Wednesday: Follow the Prime Minister’s idea of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas.
Tiwari, 43, replaces Satish Upadhyay, who occupied the post for more than two years.
Born in Atarwalia, Bihar, Tiwari graduated from Banaras Hindu University. He joined the BJP ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. A well-known Bhojpuri singer and actor, he won the polls from the North East Delhi constituency, which has a large migrant population.
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His appointment comes against the backdrop of the party trying to reach out to the migrant voters in the capital. His appeal to the Purvanchalis — a community that has 18 lakh voters in the capital — and his reputation as a non-controversial leader not affiliated to any camp helped him bag the post, BJP sources said.
On Wednesday, he shared the stage with Union Ministers Vijay Goel and Harsh Vardhan — both of whom have had first-hand experience of infighting in the Delhi unit.
“We all have to work together and support Tiwari. Together, we will win the municipal elections. The Chief Minister does not live in the city and if there is anyone who can take the city out of this deadlock, it is Tiwari,” Goel said.
Harsh Vardhan said, “The kind of person Tiwari is, he will take everyone along. If you take one step to take the cadre along, they will take a thousand steps to be with you.”
BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri, who Tiwari called his “big brother”, also had some advice for him: “Just like the PM, Tiwari would take everyone along. Delhi is mini-India and the party leadership has shown that whoever goes by the vision of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas is rewarded. He is not just a Purvanchali now; he will work for every section of society.”
The terms of Upadhyay and Goel were marred by infighting in the Delhi unit. While senior leaders had alleged they were being neglected during Goel’s tenure, Upadhyay’s reign saw BJP receive a drubbing at the hands of AAP in the assembly polls.
Soon after the event, Upadhyay left for Varanasi. “We just got to know about this a few hours ago. This is a respite for Satish. I know the feeling. The responsibility has now shifted to Tiwari,” Harsh Vardhan said.
Tiwari said it was a “coincidence” that Upadhyay had gone to Varanasi — the same place where Tiwari’s mother lives. “My mother has never visited me in Delhi. Whenever I call her, she refuses. Today, Upadhyay is going to Varanasi — this is a strange coincidence,” said Tiwari.
Upadhyay said, “I wish Manoj bhai a successful tenure. I’m sure the party will scale new heights under his leadership.”