BJP expels Bhojpuri film star Pawan Singh for contesting against the NDA’s candidate from Karakat in Bihar

The BJP had originally fielded the popular actor-singer from Asansol in West Bengal, which he declined for ‘personal reasons’, choosing instead to stand as an independent candidate in Karakat against the RLM’s Upendra Kushwaha

Updated - May 22, 2024 07:25 pm IST

Published - May 22, 2024 02:31 pm IST - Patna

File picture of Bhojpuri star and independent candidate from Karakat constituency Pawan Singh during an election campaign for Lok Sabha elections, in Sasaram, Bihar on May 5, 2024.

File picture of Bhojpuri star and independent candidate from Karakat constituency Pawan Singh during an election campaign for Lok Sabha elections, in Sasaram, Bihar on May 5, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

The BJP on Wednesday expelled popular Bhojpuri film star and singer Pawan Singh from the party for “anti-party activities and maligning the image of the party”.

Pawan Singh had recently joined the BJP but was in the fray to contest the Lok Sabha election as an independent candidate from the Karakat Lok Sabha constituency.

Rashtriya Lok Morcha (RLM) leader Upendra Kushwaha is contesting from Karakat as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate. The Opposition mahagathbandhan has pitted Raja Ram Singh of the Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist (CPI-ML) against Mr. Kushwaha.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Mr. Kushwaha, then standing for his Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), which has since been renamed as the RLM, was defeated by the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) candidate Mahabali Singh by over 80,000 votes.

“In the Lok Sabha polls, you are contesting against NDA’s official candidate and this is considered as anti-party activity. The party’s image has been maligned and you did this work against party’s discipline. So you are expelled from the party,” the expulsion letter signed by Arvind Sharma, in-charge of the State BJP headquarters, stated.

“It is the party’s action and it is natural that if someone contests an election against the party’s official nominee, such actions are taken at the party-level,” State BJP president and Deputy Chief Minister Samrat Choudhary told the media.

Pawan Singh, popularly known as the ‘Power Star’, who joined the BJP in September 2017, wanted to contest the election from his home town of Ara (Bhojpur). But the BJP fielded him from the Asansol seat in West Bengal, which he declined in March 2024 citing “personal reasons”.

A few days later, Mr. Singh filed his nomination papers from the adjoining Karakat seat as an independent candidate to fulfil his “mother’s wish”. This generated huge excitement, especially among the young voters of the constituency, and among the upper caste Rajputs, the community to which Mr. Pawan Singh belongs. The star singer’s controversial Bhojpuri songs with racy lyrics have been fetching him a lot of attention.

The Minister and sitting MP from Ara, R.K. Singh, and other party leaders as well, had earlier told the media that they would request the party to expel Mr. Singh for contesting the election against the BJP’s official candidate.

Mr. Pawan Singh’s mother, Pratima Devi, had filed her nomination papers from Sasaram on May 14, but she withdrew her candidature after a few days.

The Karakat Lok Sabha seat comprises six Assembly segments — Nokha, Dehri, Goh, Karakat, Obra, Nabinagar — all of which are represented by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MLAs.

Karakat goes to the polls in the seventh phase in Bihar on June 1..

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