Four months ago when Manoj Tiwari was appointed the president of Delhi BJP, the party was staring at an election where his party had to beat anti-incumbency. Rivals and detractors dismissed his appointment, saying it was done only to woo the Purvanchali voters.
Now, with a decisive win in the municipal elections in Delhi, Tiwari has not only added to his stature in the party but has also emerged as the face of the BJP in the national capital. It is significant since the party had struggled to find a CM candidate in the 2015 assembly elections, which, experts said was responsible for its crushing defeat.
A party insider said BJP’s victory in the municipal election will help Tiwari win the confidence of the party cadre and could emerge as the face for next assembly elections in Delhi.
“Tiwari may also be given a larger role in the party and could be put to use in states, which have a large Purvanchali population. He was given a task to prepare the ground for the party by consolidating the Purvanchali votes by the central leadership and he has delivered. As per our initial assessment of the MCD results, it is estimated that around 42% per cent Purvanchalis have voted for the BJP,” a source in the party said.
“We will hopefully maintain the momentum. In couple of days, Tiwari is going to continue his programme for night stays in slums or unauthorised colonies,” he said.
Gaining weight in his leadership, Tiwari will also effectively curb infighting in the party, sources said.
However, not everyone agrees with the assessment. Some party leaders say that municipal elections should not be compared with assembly polls.
“BJP’s vote share in 2012 MCD elections was 36. 74%, this time we got 36.08 %. We have lost about 0.5 % votes. If at all comparison is to be made, then it should be compared with 2014 general elections when got 46.63 % votes,” a party leader said.