Senior politician from Rajasthan and six-time former MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari returned to the BJP on Saturday, two years after he had left the party over differences with former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
Tiwari, who had floated his own outfit, the Bharat Vahini Party before the 2018 Assembly elections, had moved to the Congress after losing his seat in Sanganer constituency and was seen sharing the stage with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former Congress president Rahul Gandhi at a rally in Jaipur before the Lok Sabha elections last year.
“I have been with the BJP since its birth. Before that, I was with the Jan Sangh and was also a swayamsevak of the Sangh. The ideology of the BJP is present in my heart and soul. Owing to some circumstances and issues I had to float the Bharat Vahini Party. After the elections, I didn’t join the Congress or became a primary member of the party. I simply shared the stage in a programme of the Congress party,” said Tiwari, while speaking to reporters at the BJP headquarters in Jaipur after his return on Saturday.
He added that he didn’t take part in the protests organised by the Congress against the CAA and abrogation of Article 370.
Tiwari thanked the BJP leadership for taking him back in the party.
Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia said that Tiwari had written a letter and expressed his desire to return to the BJP. After he conveyed his message to the state leadership, the central leadership of the party was contacted and it was after its approval that Tiwari was inducted in the party.
At the time of his resignation, Tiwari had written a letter to then BJP President Amit Shah holding Vasundhara Raje and the central leadership responsible for his decision. “I will now work against undeclared emergency in the country and state to ensure that no one tries to strangulate democratic institutions for power,” Tiwari had said at the time.
He had been at loggerheads with the Raje dispensation in the state over a number of issues, including farmers’ plight, demand of reservation for the upper caste and corruption. A former minister, Tiwari had accused the then BJP government in Rajasthan of corruption.
On Saturday, after he was asked by reporters about the issues he had raised while being a BJP MLA during Raje’s tenure in 2018, Tiwari said, “The issues that I had raised are almost finished and now it’s a new slate…That’s why the party is absolutely clean and we will write new alphabets on it with unity.”
Poonia cited the example of BJP leaders such as Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh and Babulal Marandi to say that many tall leaders who had left the BJP over certain circumstances had later come back as well.
Tiwari is known to have strong ties with the RSS and is regarded as an influential Brahmin leader of the BJP. While Tiwari was defeated from the Sanganer Assembly constituency in Jaipur in the 2018 state election, his Bharat Vahini Party couldn’t win a single seat.