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Mahabharat's Krishna quits BJP

Feeling sidelined in the party, an incensed Nitish Bharadwaj has finally left Bhopal bag and baggage.

india Updated: May 04, 2006 12:16 IST

Finding himself sidelined in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bhopal, actor-politician Nitish Bharadwaj who played Krishna in TV serial 'Mahabharat' has finally left Bhopal bag and baggage.

"I don't think that I am required by the party anymore, so there is no point in staying here," Bharadwaj said while packing up for Mumbai.

Bharadwaj, the blue-eyed boy of estranged BJP leader Uma Bharti, had been facing trouble ever since the latter quit the post of Madhya Pradesh chief minister in 2004.

First he was removed from the chairmanship of the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation to be inducted as the party's general secretary in the state and later he was apparently sidelined in the organisation.

"I have no grudge against the BJP but the behaviour of some of its leaders definitely pains me," he said.

"I never hesitated in doing anything that the party wanted me to do, be it campaigning, running the tourism corporation or organisational work as the general secretary. But what will I do here when I am not being assigned any work for the past several months?" Bharadwaj quipped.

"Finding myself with no work, I started a film on Guru Gowalkar and I will now be completing it in Mumbai," he said.

A source close to Bharti said: "The idea behind giving him the post of tourism corporation chairman was that his image of Krishna of TV serial 'Mahabharat' would help market pilgrim tourism in the state.

"As chairman of the corporation he also made an attempt to put Madhya Pradesh on the world tourism map but the nitty-gritty of present day BJP politics never allowed him to do so.

"The corporation took major steps towards infrastructure development and most of its hotels were given a facelift which resulted in enhanced occupancy in different cities of the state during his tenure.

"Gwalior, Bhopal and Jabalpur did extremely well as far as business during his stint as chairman was concerned. But Bharadwaj was accused of misusing the corporation funds and undertaking foreign trips and asked to tender his resignation as soon as a new chief minister, Babulal Gaur, assumed the seat," he said.

Bharadwaj was inducted as state general secretary in the BJP but there too he was given short shrift with the result that he finally decided to go back to Mumbai.