Manoj Tiwari, From Bhojpuri Star To BJP's Delhi Face

The BJP, which won only three seats in the 2015 election, has not announced a candidate yet, sticking to its time-tested policy of contesting elections under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Manoj Tiwari, From Bhojpuri Star To BJP's Delhi Face

Manoj Tiwari had started his stint in politics with the Samajwadi Party (File)

New Delhi:

A decade after joining politics, Manoj Tiwari is seen as one of the contenders for the top post in Delhi if the BJP wins Saturday's assembly elections -- at least by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The BJP, which won only three seats in the 2015 election, has not announced a candidate yet, sticking to its time-tested policy of contesting elections under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

But Mr Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party, which has been regularly sniping at the BJP over the lacunae, had put the name of the state BJP chief name at the forefront of the large hoarding it put up, in a dig at the party.

Among the first to bring up the issue was Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who said the BJP would contest elections under Manoj Tiwari's leadership and "rest only after making him the Chief Minister". AAP immediately said predicted an even bigger victory for itself than 2015.

The hugely popular former star of Bhojpuri films had beat Congress's three-time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit from North East Delhi in last year's parliamentary elections.

Though not a contestant in this election, he featured prominently on the list of the party's star campaigners. The BJP is expecting him to deliver the support of the huge migrant population from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, for whom Bhojpuri films are a big draw.

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Mr Tiwari, since he took charge of the Delhi unit of the party in 2013, has kept the BJP in the headlines, with regular run-ins with AAP on Twitter.

A defamation case was filed against him after he accused AAP of causing a Rs 2000 crore "scam" in the construction of government schools in the national capital.

Manoj Tiwari had started his stint in politics with the Samajwadi Party, contesting from Yogi Adityanath's bastion Gorakhpur in 2009. He had lost. Before the next Lok Sabha election rolled around, he was with the BJP.

Contesting from North West Delhi, he defeated Aam Aadmi Party's Anand Kumar.