The rumblings against Champion’s return have also reached Delhi as some leaders of the party’s state unit are preparing to meet BJP President J.P. Nadda and lodge their complaint on the issue. Party leaders believe that Champion has let down the party with his antics several times. They fear the return of the MLA who has been infamous for firing guns many times in public will have an adverse effect on the BJP’s image.
The party may also have to bear the consequences of the move in the 2022 Assembly election. Last year, Champion was expelled by the BJP for six years after a video of him dancing while consuming alcohol went viral.
Champion, Khanpur MLA in Haridwar district of Uttarakhand, has a longstanding link with controversies. One of his videos went viral in July last year showing him dancing with alcohol while holding guns. When the video went viral, the party fired him. A month earlier, Champion had threatened to kill a journalist in Delhi, even after the party suspended him for three months.
Meanwhile, Champion was constantly trying to come back to the party. He also visited Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and state party president Banshidhar Bhagat. On August 23, in the party’s core committee meeting, the application for the return of Champion was discussed. Sources say that many core committee leaders objected to this. It was said that if Champion is taken back, he can land the party in a crisis even before the election. However, a few leaders managed to clear the path for his return.
Reliable sources in the party told IANS that there was resentment within the party against the decision of the state president and the core committee. Some party leaders are preparing to go to Delhi soon and complain to Nadda about this issue.
A party leader from Uttarakhand told IANS, “Pranav Singh Champion has no connection with the ideology of BJP. He came to the BJP in 2016 by rebelling against Congress’s Harish Rawat government. He has been in controversies before and after coming to the BJP, he continued to land the party in trouble due to his antics. The election is to be held in 2022, so the state unit has taken a risk by taking him back. There will be a complaint to the national leadership.”
In 2013, Champion hit the headlines when he fired a gun at a dinner party at a state Cabinet minister’s house. In 2006, he was accused of firing at the driver of a roadways bus. In 2010, a video of him firing in Mangalore, Karnataka went viral and in 2015, he was accused of opening fire on villagers over a mining dispute in Haridwar.