Firebrand Hindutva leader Uma Bharti Thursday quit the Bharatiya Jan Shakti (BJS), a party she floated four years ago following her expulsion from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). There is talk she may return to her parent party.
Though Uma Bharti has said she was quitting on health grounds, her surprise resignation comes amid speculation she may return to the Nitin Gadkari-led BJP.
Gadkari, the new BJP chief, had earlier expressed his readiness to take back some popular disgruntled party leaders.
Uma Bharti in a letter to her party's acting president Sanghpriya Gautam, who too had walked out of the BJP to join Uma Bharti's Bharatiya Jan Shakti, said she was resigning "in view of the political situation in the country... and (her) state of health".
"Responsibility as the party president and my earnest desire for introspection and contemplation with free mind is putting too much strain on my body and mind," the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister wrote in her letter.
"I am resigning from the party presidentship and relieving myself of all responsibilities," said the 51-year-old who was at the centre of a political row in the BJP.
Uma Bharti was a senior leader of the BJP and was a central minister. She had openly revolted against L.K. Advani in 2004 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Her expulsion was revoked later, but in 2005 she was sacked again when she opposed the appointment of Shivraj Singh Chauhan as chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.
In 2006, Uma Bharti floated the Bharatiya Jan Shakti, saying she would revive the Hindu movement in India. However, she received a severe drubbing in the assembly election from her home turf Tikamgarh constituency in Madhya Pradesh.