BJP expels Bhojpuri superstar Pawan Singh for contesting LS polls as independent candidate

In the letter of expulsion, Singh has been charged with "anti-party activities" and "indiscipline" and reprimanded for "tarnishing the party's reputation by contesting against the NDA's authorized candidate (adhikrit pratyashi).
Bhojpuri singer-actor Pawan Singh
Bhojpuri singer-actor Pawan SinghPhoto | X

PATNA: Bhojpuri superstar Pawan Singh was on Wednesday expelled from the BJP for "tarnishing the party's image" by contesting Lok Sabha poll "against an authorized NDA candidate".

Singh has entered the fray, as an Independent, in Karakat seat of Bihar, queering the pitch for ex-Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, an NDA partner who is contesting on the symbol of his Rashtriya Lok Morcha.

According to a communication issued by Arvind Sharma, the BJP's Bihar headquarters in charge, Singh, who is a member of the party's district executive committee in Bhojpur, has been expelled upon the directions of state president Samrat Choudhary.

In the letter of expulsion, Singh has been charged with "anti-party activities" and "indiscipline" and reprimanded for "tarnishing the party's reputation by contesting against the NDA's authorized candidate (adhikrit pratyashi).

Despite repeated attempts, Singh could not be reached for comments on the development.

The belated action, from the party, comes with just over a week left before voting takes place in Karakat on June 1.

Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold three rallies in Bihar on May 25 at as many constituencies going to polls in the final phase and one of these has been proposed in Karakat constituency.

Singh, who has been a BJP member for several years, had about a month ago turned down a party ticket from Asansol in West Bengal where fellow Bihari, actor turned politician Shatrughan Sinha, is seeking re-election as the candidate of Trinamool Congress.

Singh is understood to have chickened out after a massive controversy broke out over a number of his songs with lyrics that were allegedly misogynistic and denigrated Bengalis.

The actor-singer is understood to have lobbied hard with the party for a ticket from Ara, named after the town where his home district of Bhojpur is headquartered.

He was, however, reportedly told by the party that it would not drop RK Singh, the Union minister who is now in the fray seeking a third consecutive term.

Finally, Singh threw his hat in the ring from adjoining Karakat, amid speculations that he may have been receiving the backing from a section of the state BJP which feels that by promoting leaders like Kushwaha, the party ran the risk of diluting its own OBC outreach.

Recently, when journalists sought Kushwaha's views about Singh, the NDA partner claimed that he suspected that the singer-actor had been propped by the RJD, the main opposition party.

RJD sources, however, rubbished the charge, pointing out that they were firmly backing ally CPI(ML) Liberation's candidate Raja Ram, while admitting that if Singh cut into the votes of his Rajput community, traditionally supporters of the BJP, it will be to the INDIA bloc's advantage.

Although large crowds had turned up when the Bhojpuri superstar filed his nomination papers, and all his public meetings have been well attended so far, Singh initially appeared to be having second thoughts, as was evident from his mother Pratima Devi also entering the fray as an Independent.

It was believed that Singh might back out from the contest under pressure from the BJP with his mother still in the fray as a proxy.

However, as things turned out, the mother withdrew her nominations in a manner as hushed as her filing of nominations while the son chose to stay on.

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The New Indian Express