The “hype” created by BJP’s Delhi unit around singer-dancer Sapna Chaudhary joining the party has left a section of leaders and RSS functionaries somewhat unhappy, as they feel celebrities are increasingly being promoted at the expense of long-time party leaders. “The party’s membership drive had senior leaders present but was publicised as if it was being held to mark the joining of Sapna Chaudhary. Then the next day, a press conference is organised for her,” a senior leader said.
The BJP’s membership drive was launched at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Sunday, during which Chaudhary joined the party in the presence of former Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the party’s national general secretary (organisation) Ramlal.
Seven others, including a differently abled youth, a first-time voter, retired Army officers and bureaucrats and a street vendor, joined the BJP at the event.
After she joined, state media convenor of the RSS Rajiv Tuli had tweeted a photo of Chaudhary and said: “Quorum is complete — Manoj Tiwari, Hans Raj Hans and now Sapna Choudhary.” When contacted, Tuli said it was his “personal view”.
Another RSS leader said: “BJP must not forget we have not been in power in Delhi for two decades.” Party insiders said some resentment had also brewed after the BJP gave three out of seven Lok Sabha tickets to people with a ‘celebrity’ tag.
When contacted, Tiwari said it was the media that concentrated on the news of Chaudhary’s joining. “We have, in our media releases, mentioned everyone; it is for media to decide whom they want to focus on.”
Leaders in the Tiwari camp also sought to suggest that those criticising Chaudhary’s joining were envious of the fact that Tiwari had managed to bring her into the fold despite speculation that she would join the Congress.