With a smile on her face, Uma is confidence personified

  • Press Trust of India, PTI, Satai (MP)
  • |
  • Updated: Nov 26, 2003 09:31 IST

With a smile on her face, she is confidence personified as she arrived by a chopper on her election campaign.

And the first thing Uma Bharti tells her responsive audience is that she has not come to them to seek votes. But she does it all the same in a different way.

"How can a daughter, a grand-daughter, ask you for votes," the sanyasin says striking an emotional chord with the local populace.

She, however, hastens to add that "your daughter is going to be the Chief Minister and so it is for you to protect your prestige (izzat)."

Telling the audience in this backward constituency that she will not make a long speech, as constant campaigning has taken a toll of her throat, Bharti is at her friendly best.

As if she read Dale Carnegie's book "How to win friends and influence people" only yesterday, she goes about giving an impression that she wants to erase the image of being temperamental.

Bharti is at pains to explain why she has chosen this constituency despite being acutely aware of her brother Swami Lodh who represents it had not done justice to it.

She said she is contesting from Bada Malhera constituency as she says that by choosing to contest from here she is trying to rectify a wrong.

"Last time I had asked you that a vote for Swami is a vote for me. Since he did not work for the constituency, I quarrelled with him on the issue and now I am repaying the debt," Bharti said.

In the short speech, Bharti, who also has on her mind the caste arithmetic, said a vote for her would strengthen Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who is a Brahmin.

"Since I have been taking up various issues without fear, I am also a Kshatriya besides I am also a daughter of a kisan," she said.

Bharti does not forget to assault Congress for "spreading casteism in society."

Winding up the speech, she also takes a jibe at Chief Minister Digvijay Singh. "I won't call Jagdish Shukla (her rival and Congress candidate) a scapegoat as the Chief Minister had termed his BJP opponent Shivraj Singh Chauhan. Shukla is my brother."

She promises the people that she would change the face of the constituency within three years and would solve problems of roads and power within a few months.

As she leaves to catch up for the next meeting where the Prime Minister was to address, when approached by PTI correspondent to know her latest assessment in the state, Bharti quipped "I don't take time, people and God for granted."

This apparently is the parting shot at the Chief Minister who repeatedly claims 125-130 seats for Congress.

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