Monday, Jun 05, 2023

Who Is Tajinder Bagga, BJP's Controversial Social Media Posterboy

Who Is Tajinder Bagga, BJP's Controversial Social Media Posterboy

Tajinder Bagga gained prominence in 2011 for attacking Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan for his remarks on Kashmir.

BJP's Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga.(File photo) Twitter/Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga

BJP leader Tajinderpal Singh Bagga, known as Tajinder Bagga, was picked up by the Punjab Police on Friday morning from his residence in West Delhi’s Janakpuri in connection with an inflammatory statements case, registered against him at Mohali police station.

Later, Punjab police’s cavalcade carrying Bagga was stopped by Haryana police, following which he was handed over to Delhi police.  

But who is Delhi BJP leader Bagga over which police departments of two states and Union Territory are caught in a tug of war?

In winter of 2020, BJP surprised everyone with its midnight announcement of fielding Bagga as its candidate for Hari Nagar Assembly seat during Delhi elections.

Years back in 2011, before the announcement, a Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan was physically assaulted on live television by a group led by Bagga.

Since then, Bagga has gained massive popularity online for his notorious trolling of people on Twitter.

The 36-year-old  Bagga started his political career by founding an ultra-nationalist fringe outfit called Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena.

It was in 2011 that the outfit gained prominence, after Bagga physically assaulted lawyer Prashant Bhushan for his remarks on Kashmir, and writer Arundhati Roy. The outfit Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena attacked anybody which it deemed “anti-national”.

However, it was Bagga’s tech savvy approach to political mobilisation that helped him rise through the BJP’s ranks. Bagga used social media, especially Twitter, for galvanising mass support for the party and its leaders, for which he has even been accused ok several occasions of using fake news and doctored video clips.

He also lead a troll campaign against Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone on Twitter, after the latter was found standing behind JNU student leaders in 2019.

It was in 2017 that Bagga was named as Delhi BJP’s spokesperson. 

Bagga's expansive list of Twitter followers includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a fact that also added to his fame. 

Bagga has been often accused of sharing images out of context or in ways that distort the meaning of an image or video. He has been under fire several times for making defamatory statements or false claims such as when Bagga led a campaign against Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal by sharing a stickfigure cartoon of the latter as a Nazi.

Bagga maligned Kejriwal while saying that he was against the Hindu "swastika”.

During anti-CAA protests, Bagga claimed Umar Khalid had raised anti-Hindu slogans in Mumbai. Similar claims were made by him regarding peaceful women protesters in Shaheen Bagh.

There have been several fact-checks conducted by news organisations which found both above claims to be untrue. 

Bagga is also the editor of NaMo Patrika – an online portal started by the Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena to highlight schemes and initiatives launched by the Modi government.

His proximity to RSS leaders and several BJP leaders has also lead to his meteoric rise in BJP.