Brought back to the party fold with an eye to backward caste votes, Uma Bharti's presence does not seem to have helped the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh. The party, which emerged third in the state, Tuesday refused to comment on Bharti's responsibility for the debacle.
The BJP's tally has dropped from 51 seats in 2007 to 49 this year under Bharti, who was in charge of the poll campaign.
“Uma Bharti made no impact in UP polls. The BJP was not expected to do well any way,” political commentator N Bhaskara Rao told IANS.
In order to corner the other backward caste (OBC) votes, the BJP had brought in Bharti, an OBC leader and former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, as its star campaigner in Uttar Pradesh.
The party fielded Bharti, who rejoined the party after six years, from Charkhari constituency where she won comfortably.
The BJP refused to comment on her responsibility for the performance.
“All these things are a matter of detailed discussion. We will tell this after we discuss it in detail,” BJP leader Sushma Swaraj told NDTV channel.
BJP youth leader Anurag Thakur too refused to blame Bharti, saying: "We can't blame Uma Bharti as there were many more reasons behind it. There can't be a single reason... We need to introspect," he said.
Bharti had migrated from neighbouring Madhya Pradesh to make Uttar Pradesh her political abode.
Earlier, before the poll results were out, Bharti had told TV channel Times Now that Samajwadi Party emerging victorious in Uttar Pradesh was a "cause of worry as crime will increase in the state and I am worried about safety of people".