Why Did BJP Replace Manoj Tiwari with the Lesser-Known Adesh Kumar Gupta in Delhi?


Why Did BJP Replace Manoj Tiwari with the Lesser-Known Adesh Kumar Gupta in Delhi?

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

In Delhi, where the municipal corporation elections are still far off in the future, the city’s Bharatiya Janata Party cadre has seen a reshuffling at its highest echelon. Manoj Tiwari, the former Bhojpuri film star and avid cricket aficionado, has been replaced from his post of Delhi BJP chief by Adesh Kumar Gupta. With the elections scheduled for 2022, this move appears to have been taken by the party in order to boost its chances of retaining its supremacy in Delhi’s municipal corporations.

Tiwari, due to his residual star power from his days in Bhojpuri cinema as well as his stint on the reality show Bigg Boss, had been a high-profile face for BJP. He was appointed as Delhi BJP president in 2016. However, the party’s poor showing in the last Delhi Assembly election, where it lost to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), may have played a role in scripting Tiwari’s exit.

Gupta, Tiwari’s replacement, is a former North Delhi Municipal Corporation mayor. Gupta was elected as a councillor for the first time in 2017, and is relatively lesser- known compared to some of the BJP leaders in Delhi, which include the likes of Tiwari, ex-cricketer Gautam Gambhir, and Tajinder Bagga.

His appointment as Delhi BJP chief has surprised many in the party. “Everyone was surprised as the names of many senior leaders were doing the rounds. At the same time, he has only contested as a councillor and was earlier the party general secretary of the Karol Bagh district,” a senior BJP leader told The Print.

After the announcement was made, Gupta spoke to the media, saying, “Thankful to PM Modi, Nadda ji and other senior leaders… It will be challenging to expand and consolidate the party base in view of Covid-19.”

Tiwari being removed from the post of Delhi BJP president has also prompted a slew of reactions from online commenters, ranging from jokes, analysis, and of course, memes. Tiwari himself was known for being a source of comic relief at times, with his blunders, like playing cricket at a club in Haryana while Delhi was under lockdown only being the most recent to ignite a storm of ridicule.

But there are those who saw Tiwari’s positive qualities as well. Delhi BJP also features names like Kapil Mishra, who made inflammatory speeches erupted into communal riots this February. Tiwari, for his part, did not indulge in similar incitement.

Whatever the reasons behind Tiwari’s replacement may be, one thing is for sure – Adesh Kumar Gupta will never be able to release a song that matches “Rinkiya ke Papa” for its viral potential.