From unsuccesfully contesting Lok Sabha elections as a SP candidate in 2009 to becoming the BJP’s Delhi unit chief and steering it to a resounding win in the civic polls here it has been a long journey for actor- turned politician Manoj Tiwari.
The BJP bagged 181 out of the 270 seats and comfortably retained control of the three municipal corporations in Delhi today, dealing a severe blow to the AAP and dashing the Congress’ hopes of bouncing back.
The massive victory of BJP in the civic polls has given a boost to Tiwari’s political standing within six months of him being given the reins of the Delhi unit of the party.
Tiwari had unsuccesfully contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections as a Samajwadi Party(SP) candidate from Gorakhpur against BJP’s Yogi Adityanath, now the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
The role of Tiwari in pulling off a spectacular victory for BJP is underscored by the fact that it was facing an anti-incumbency from a 10-year rule in three municipal corporations.
In the run up to the MCD polls, Tiwari was appointed to lead the Delhi BJP in November last year in view of his background as a famous Bhojpuri singer actor, capable of connecting well with Purvanchali voters who were considered prime drivers of Aam Admi Party’s(AAP) spectacular show in Delhi Assembly elections in 2015.
Tiwari, party MP from northeast Delhi, got down to the task of wooing people from eastern UP and Bihar, categorised largely as Purvanchali, launching his night stays in slums, unauthorised colonies and semi-urban parts of the city.
In a whirlwind campaign across the city, covering nearly 250 of the 270 municipal wards, Tiwari would easily switch over from Hindi to Bhojpuri and croon some lines from his hit songs endearing himself to people in areas like Kirari, Sangam Vihar, Najafgarh, Burari, Nandnagri and other areas where Purvanchali people have settled in large numbers.
Tiwari, however, credited the victory of BJP to the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leadership of party chief Amit Shah and its workers.
“This is victory of Delhi people who believe that BJP will work for their happiness and welfare,” he said.