Popular Bhojpuri actor-turned-politician and BJP MP Manoj Tiwari, was appointed as the president of the Delhi BJP unit on Wednesday. He has replaced Satish Upadhyay who was given the charge in July 2014.
BJP president Amit Shah made the announcement on Wednesday which came into effect immediately.
The appointment of Tiwari, who represents Northeast Delhi constituency, is being seen as an attempt to woo poorvanchali voters in Delhi ahead of municipal elections scheduled early next year. These people from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar jointly make for 35 % of the electorate in the Capital and have influence in over 20-25 assembly seats. They had traditionally been Congress voters but later favoured the BJP. But in Lok Sabha and assembly elections, the poorvanchalis voted en masse for the AAP.
BJP insiders say Tiwari, a popular poorvanchali face, will help the party get back their support.
“AAP had realised the influential position of people from UP and Bihar in Delhi hence given tickets to substantial number of candidates from that region. The party at present has 4-5 poorvanchali MLA in the assembly,” said a party leader on the condition of anonymity.
Apart from the mammoth responsibility of bringing traditional poorvanchali voters to the party’s fold, Tiwari will also have the uphill task of ending factionalism within the party.
Sources in the party said one of the reasons for Upadhyay’s removal as a party president was his inability to bring all factions on the same platform. “Poor performance of the party in municipal bypolls came as a shock. He apparently failed to neutralise groupism, which has now been an issue in the party for long,” a source said.
Another senior state leader also said, “It is true that Tiwari has always been a crowd-puller. But the question is whether he will be able to convert his popularity into votes or to contain the divide among party leaders. He is a permanent resident of Mumbai, his influence at present is confined to a constituency only. How his appointment will work in favour of the party, time will tell. It is too early to reach a conclusion,” he said.