In a surprise development, Uma Bharti on Thursday quit the Bharatiya Janashakti, a party she had founded and was heading after being sacked from the BJP in 2005.
The resignation came amid speculation that the firebrand Hindutva leader could return to the BJP, especially considering the readiness of new party chief Nitin Gadkari to allow re-entry of some popular leaders.
In a letter to party’s acting president Sanghpriya Gautam, Bharti said she was resigning from the party "in view of the political situation in the country" and her "state of health".
The 51-year-old former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said her responsibility of being Bharatiya Janashakti party president and "my earnest desire for introspection... is putting too much strain on my body and mind..."
She asked Gautam to give the charge of the party to Baburam Nishad.
Once the hardline face of the BJP, she was thrown out of the party in 2005 after she attacked senior leaders.
In 2004, too, she had openly revolted against L K Advani following which she was temporarily expelled and served a show cause notice.
Her expulsion was revoked later, but in 2005 she was sacked again when she opposed the appointment of Shivraj Singh Chauhan as Madhya Pradesh chief minister.
In 2006, she floated the Bharatiya Janashakti, saying she would revive the Hindu movement in the country. She, however, received a severe drubbing in the assembly polls from her home turf, Tikamgarh constituency in Madhya Pradesh.