Cricketer, Showman, Protester, Singer: A look at BJP Delhi Chief Manoj Tiwari's tenure
Photo: PTI

Be it his songs or his political moves -- BJP leader Manoj Tiwari has repeatedly made headlines over the years. In recent times, he had been the face of the Delhi BJP leading them through protests, election defeat at the hands of the AAP, and many other milestones.

Recently, he was at the fore of social distancing by playing cricket, at least one sport where one can properly self-distance. But Tiwari kept up with the times, and as India began a phased unlocking, he and party workers opted to gather at Rajghat to protest against teh Arvind Kejriwal government's failure to contain COVID-19 cases in the national capital.

We'll gloss over the fact that he was detained after the protests for alleged violation of lockdown norms.

But it would seem that Tiwari's role as Delhi BJP president is at an end.

On Tuesday, news agency ANI reported that Tiwari had been replaced by Adesh Kumar Gupta. It is not yet clear whether the singer-turned politician will be given a different role within the party.

But while netizens crack jokes or express their sadness, we decided to take a look back at some highlights from Tiwari's past.

He is known affectionately as Rinkya Ke Papa, and one does not have to look far to realise why. You see, before becoming the face of the BJP in Delhi, Manoj Tiwari had been a musical sensation. And 'Rinkiya ke Papa' is one of his most popular songs.

It might interest you to know that even Arvind Kejriwal is a self-professed fan of Tiwari's musical prowess. Even after their Delhi Assembly victory, the AAP celebrations had included dancing to the well-known tune.

Speaking of the Delhi elections, the former BJP Delhi chief had predicted that his party would form the government in the National Capital Territory. And indeed, if one looked at recent history, Tiwari's prophesy seemed likely to come true. After all, he had led the party to a victory in the MCD polls in April 2017.

But it was not meant to be. The AAP won the Delhi Assembly elections earlier this year, and Tiwari offered to resign from his post. At the time the party had refused, and an IANS report suggests that the party leadership had told Tiwari that a change of guard in Delhi will take place as and when "structural changes" are made in BJP's Delhi unit.

Not one to stay quiet in the face of adversity, Tiwari has been outspoken in his criticism of the AAP government's handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the NCT. Most recently, on June 1, he was detained after organising a protest on the same topic.

And when the lockdown blues became unbearable, Tiwari indulged in a game of cricket. As he put it: "The MHA permitted the opening of stadiums, without spectators. Based on that, I decided to play. All norms were followed.”

Manoj Tiwari is a brand in his own right -- perhaps more so that even Kejriwal. And to quote Tiwari himself, the Aam Aadmi Party too has acknowledged this.

To quote the BJP leader: "Using Manoj Tiwari brand in its electoral campaign, the AAP has shown that Manoj Tiwari is a brand not Kejriwal. I am working as BJP President in Delhi. I earn money by singing, acting, dancing etc. I have a brand value."

(With inputs from agencies)

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