“At times, circumstances help instead of a concerted search. The recent Assembly election threw up an array of talent,” a Delhi BJP
source said, adding, “If we apply our minds to it, we have enough time to foster a new line-up.”
The choice of Tiwari’s successor might indicate the “high command’s” thinking. The line-up being talked about is a diverse assemblage, which articulates the party’s hardline ideology. Meet the protagonists:
“Our chartbuster,” a source remarked. Mishra’s communal statements against anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters at Shaheen Bagh and other hubs were believed to be a “push factor” for the cycle of violence in north-east Delhi, to which he belongs. A former Greenpeace and Amnesty employee, Mishra was co-founder of Youth for Justice, which worked on issues like farmer suicides and “encroachments” on the Yamuna river bank. He was a natural candidate for Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal’s India Against Corruption. He won the 2015 election from Karawal Nagar on an Aam Admi Party (AAP) ticket, but fell out with Kejriwal. Mishra joined the BJP
in 2019 but lost the 2020 election. The BJP doesn’t take kindly to losers. Mishra is an exception — he was given Y+ security cover because of a “serious threat perception” to his life.
Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga: The Delhi BJP’s “social media warrior” who registered his presence back in 2013, when he protested outside L K Advani’s residence for opposing Narendra Modi’s candidacy as PM. Bagga was always the BJP’s cat’s paw. He once allegedly barged into lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan’s chamber and roughed him up and heckled author Arundhati Roy at her book launch. As a member of the 150 “super-exclusive” club of media influencers, he was invited to a private interaction with Modi in 2017. He lost the election from Hari Nagar.
The Laxmi Nagar MLA grew up in Bihar.
He spearheaded the Hindi Sanrakshan evam Samvardhan Samiti for the “protection and development” of Hindi on the Delhi University campus where he was a law student. He led a procession through East Delhi during the violence and raised incendiary slogans.
Ragini Tiwari: She’s also known as Janaki Modi ki mausi (aunt)”. Do the allusions to Janaki and Mithila make her some kind of a Sita incarnate? Ragini didn’t contest the election but campaigned for the BJP. Ragini’s combativeness was on display when she egged on the cops and mobs to lathicharge the women sitting outside the Jaffrabad metro station to protest the CAA. To her, the violence was a “religious war”. Ragini is a devotee of Narsinghanand Saraswat, the mahant of Ghaziabad’s Dasna Devi temple who had called for “cleansing” India of Islam.
Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma: The son of Sahib Singh Verma and West Delhi MP who conjured up scary images of Shaheen Bagh in the Assembly election and was banned from campaigning for 96 hours. Yet he was the BJP’s opening speaker in the Lok Sabha for the motion of thanks to the President’s address.