Ghanshyam Tiwari, 67, the man who scored the biggest victory in 2013 Assembly election, is today both angry and sad. A former minister in Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s earlier stint and a known rival of the CM, Tiwari seems to have been literally dumped by the party this time round.
A six time MLA, Tiwari has been consistently ignored by the party. A good orator and a debater, his flair is seen in Assembly sometimes. He defeated his nearest rival Congress’s Sanjay Bapna by 63,350 votes, polled over 1,12,465 votes i,e 66.03% of the total votes polled in the Sanganer constituency in the 2013 Assembly polls.
But his recent manhandling by supporters of BJP MP Ramcharan Bohra at BJP training camp held at Sheopur in Sanganer, who even went to the extent of questioning who Tiwari is, has left himi sad and hurt.
When Tiwari arrived at the venue, Bohra’s supporters closed the gates and asked Tiwari and his aides to furnish I-cards. A scuffle ensued when supporters of both Tiwari and Bohra clashed. Tiwari also got hurt in the milieu. Afterwards they were pacified by leaders themselves.
But the hurt has left a deep wound in Tiwari’s heart. So much so that he has decided to quit as a member from all Assembly panels and embark on a Karyakarta Sanskar Yatra throughout the state soon. And he is going to dedicate himself to spread the teachings of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhya through Deen Dayal Smriti Sansthan. Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya’s influence is writ large on many BJP leaders. Tiwari believes now BJP has such party workers, who have no idea about Deen Dayal Upadhaya, who was a sociologist, a political scientist and leader of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh from 1953 to 1968, which is considered a precursor of BJP.
Meanwhile BJP state president Ashok Parnami had asked for a report from the district BJP president Both Tiwari and Bohra met BJP’s Rashtriya Seh Sangathan Mahamantri V Satish separately, who in turn met Raje and discussed the Tiwari issue. V Satish would be submitting a report on Tiwari to the Central BJP leadership.
Former Congress Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot added fuel to fire when he said that the manhandling of Tiwari was unfortunate and proves that not even BJP’s own MLAs are safe. Calling Tiwari a chief ministerial candidate, he said such a targeted attack on a such a senior ruling party leader cannot take place without the tacit approval at the higher level. And he demanded to know why has Tiwari’s security be downgraded than what it was during the Congress’s period.
This attack has brought the BJP infighting to the fore. A party, which boasts of taking everyone together and defusing power centres with ease, now has to eat its own words.
It is known that Tiwari has always nursed chief ministerial aspirations. Always at loggerheads with Raje, he was on top of her detractors list when the BJP government was out of power. Earlier, Tiwari had resigned from the post of deputy Opposition leader when Raje was installed as the party president before the 2013 Assembly elections and present home minister Gulab Chand Kataria as the leader of Opposition in the House. Kataria was also opposed to Raje initially but made up to her, sensing that central leadership repose more faith in her than anybody else. Cosying up to Raje proved beneficial to Kataria as he is now considered the no. 2 in the state.
But Tiwari was adamant then and had said : “I can’t compromise on dignity. That is why I’m resigning.” In his speech, Tiwari had also drawn attention to one of the statements made by a party colleague. Without naming the legislator, Tiwari had said then: “I thank him for letting me know that I’m not a mass leader. Though as deputy leader of opposition, I have tried to raise the voice of my party colleagues both in and outside the House.”
But many in BJP support Tiwari although they do not say it openly. Reason being Tiwari is a mass leader and comes from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) stock.
RSS, meanwhile, always had had a love-hate relationship with Raje.
Some sources say Raje wants to neutralise all other power centres in the party and this incident may be one way of getting rid of her rivals easily. But Tiwari, coming from RSS stock, it seems is a hard nut to crack.