Home >Politics >News >As Delhi vote counting begins, BJP’s Manoj Tiwari faces the toughest act

NEW DELHI : Bhojpuri film actor-turned-politician and leader of the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Manoj Tiwari, faces the biggest challenge in his decade-long political career as he faces the outcome of the 8 February Delhi assembly elections. All exit polls have pointed out to a repeat innings of the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party. The BJP has been out of power in the national capital for 22 years.

The problem for the 49-year-old is he heads a unit that is riddled with chief ministerial aspirants.

"It is a difficult job for Manoj Tiwari because there are at let 5-6 claimants for the chief ministerial post in Delhi and Manoj Tiwari has to manage all them at the same time. The politics of Delhi is also complex because while it is not a complete state but it has impact across the country," said a senior minister in the Union government on condition of anonymity.

Tiwari was born in Varanasi where he completed his schooling and a masters degree in physical education from Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Apart from acting and singing, Tiwari enjoys playing cricket and has captained the team, ‘Bhojpuri Dabang’, in the Celebrity Cricket League for the last three years. He was also captain of cricket team of BHU.

Tiwari's career in the Bhojpuri film industry started at least two decades ago, he is also a singer and writer of several songs. He has also sung for Hindi films. Tiwari's political career started in 2009 when he contested from Gorakhpur on a ticket of Samajwadi Party (SP) against the present chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath in Gorakhpur.

Even as Tiwari lost the elections, he came into the limelight again when he joined the anti-corruption movement started by social activist Anna Hazare in Delhi. While Tiwari was associated with the movement, he also started meeting senor leaders of the BJP and later joined the party in 2013, just before the Lok Sabha elections.

Tiwari is a two-time Member of Parliament (MP) from Delhi, both in 2014 and in 2019 when he defeated former chief minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit. Soon after the 2014 general elections, Tiwari was made the chief of BJP's unit in Delhi in 2016 in an effort to attract the voters of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, that have a sizeable presence in the capital.

Tiwari has often campaigned for BJP in both the states and because of his association with Bhojpuri films and music.

"The leadership in Delhi for BJP has seen a lot of change. First BJP started with Union minister Harsh Vardhan, then the party brought Kiran Bedi and after that Manoj Tiwari," the minister quoted above said.

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