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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 01, 2014
Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti on Tuesday said her comments on the party’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi’s oratorical skills were quoted out of context as part of “a conspiracy to portray that BJP leaders have differences”. In a statement issued after red faces surfaced in the party over her remarks, she said she was not being critical of Modi at all.

Bharti clarified she had said during her campaign in Jhansi a day earlier: “Vajpayeeji was a good orator. People say that there has been no orator like him in Indian politics. If you have paid attention, you would know that Modi is not a good orator. People go to his rallies not to listen to his speech but to tell him that they want him to change this country and that they stand by him.”

Read: Modi not a good orator, says Uma Bharti

Seeking to further clarify her statement, Bharti said Modi was the nation’s “anokha” (unique) person who draws massive crowds. “All that I said about Narendra Modi, I will repeat it. The same thing that AB Vajpayee was a good orator but Narendra Modi is country’s ‘anokha’ (unique) person after years, in whose support lakhs and lakhs turn up. This is what I had said,” she said.

A day after the BJP fielded lawyer Ajay Agarwal from Rae Bareli, Bharti said she was willing to contest against Congress president Sonia Gandhi but without giving up Jhansi, from where she was nominated much earlier. She said she had conveyed her views to party president Rajnath Singh.

(With agency inputs)