With little clarity on a BJP nominee from the East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency and the party top brass all but decided on not nominating MLAs, BJP hopeful Maheish Girri has turned to a PR agency to better his chances. Girri hopes to take on sitting MP and former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s son Sandeep in the Lok Sabha elections.
The name of three-time MP Lal Bihari Tiwari is also doing the rounds for the seat.
On Tuesday, the PR agency circulated a brief bio-data and picture of him, referring to him as a ‘probable candidate’ from East Delhi. Girri claims to have co-founded the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement for the Jan Lokpal Bill, which shot Arvind Kejriwal and Anna Hazare to fame, and was also associated with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living.
Girri fell out with the IAC after Hazare’s hunger strike at Ramlila Maidan ended. According to him, it was Kejriwal’s autocratic ways that led him to leave the organisation. “In meetings, we used to discuss things, but when it came to implementation, Kejriwal used to do what he felt like. The decisions we used to take in meetings were not implemented. It was then that I decided to part ways,” he said.
Elaborating on his association with the IAC, Girri said, “Kejriwal approached Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in December 2010 as I was associated with the Art of Living. I was asked to work with him on the public movement. I was even a part of their anti-corruption movement.”
But in an internal email circulated recently, Art of Living clarified that it won’t support Girii. The email tells members that “Girri is a dear friend and now as he is moving to politics, the organisation should not be involved in it”. However, clarifying the email, Divya Kanmnchibhotla, national teacher coordinator, the Art of Living, said, “Girri is a dear friend. The mail was for internal circulation. We support his good work and this mail should not be taken out of context.”
Born and brought up in Nashik, Girri claims to have left home for spiritual conquests and became a ‘Peethadeesh’ in Gujarat in 1999 when he was 25 years old. He then met Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
In 2009, Girri claims to have spearheaded a movement called ‘Mantranaad’. He was not given permission for the gathering in Gujarat and Girri claims it was because the model code of conduct was in place due to elections. In 2010, Girri launched the ‘Meri Dilli, Meri Yamuna’ movement.