Nupur Sharma: impressive past, promising future

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Jan 24, 2018

BL21_POL_3NUPUR

BJP’s bright young contestant is rearing to take Arvind Kejriwal head on

Combative, ambitious and action-oriented — meet Nupur Sharma, the BJP’s candidate against AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal from the New Delhi Assembly constituency.

A former president of the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU), 30-year-old Sharma has been active in the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) besides being a regular at various television shows and public functions of late for the BJP’s much-touted membership drive.

She had made no bones about actively demanding the party ticket in the past couple of months.

The BJP clearly did not want to risk fielding its chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi against Kejriwal, a move explained by party president Amit Shah in his late night press conference on Monday.

“Of course, we are fielding Kiranji from the party’s traditional seat in Krishna Nagar. We do not want her to be tied down to one constituency. She will be campaigning all over the city,” Shah said.

Higher profile

This line of thinking is a bonus for Sharma, who will immediately gain limelight and emerge as a strong future leader.

Even losing to Kejriwal, a clear possibility in New Delhi from where he defeated three-term Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit in December 2013, will raise Sharma’s profile in the party.

Already, she is being wooed by television channels where she explains her candidature easily.

Articulate and easily conversant in Hindi and English, the personable young woman is sure to make a mark in the Delhi elections.

She is adequately ideologically-oriented to lead the charge in the Capital.

On November 6, 2008, when she was DUSU president, she led an ABVP mob into an arts faculty seminar room in the university, where some students and teachers groups had invited Zakir Hussain College professor and former accused in the Parliament attack case SAR Geelani to participate in a seminar titled ‘Communalism, Fascism and Democracy: Rhetoric and Reality’.

While a number of them vandalised the venue, an ABVP activist spat on Geelani’s face. Sharma herself was seen heckling Geelani.

Late that night, she was on a popular television show where the anchor asked whether she, a student, would apologise to Geelani, the professor.

Brash pack

“I am not going to apologise… What for?” she quipped. Later in the show, she ventured, “I’ll take a stand. The whole country should spit at him. Who invited him to the university to speak on terrorism?”

Clearly, there is a new brash pack of women leaders in the BJP with Bedi as the star attraction. The likes of Sharma make for an equally strident second rung.

Published on January 20, 2015
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