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Uma in no mood for patch-up

Rebel BJP leader Uma Bharti's latest utterances against "fund-raisers" in the families of A.B. Vajpayee and L.K. Advani have further dampened efforts for a patch-up.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2006 02:11 IST

Rebel BJP leader Uma Bharti's latest utterances against "fund-raisers" in the families of A.B. Vajpayee and L.K. Advani have further dampened efforts for a patch-up.

When BJP chief Rajnath Singh called on her spiritual guru, Pejavar Mutt seer Vishvesha Tirtha, last week, BJP circles were abuzz with reports of efforts to bring her back into the party.

Even the guru said he would suggest to the BJP and the expelled party leader to "come together again in the interest" of the saffron outfit.

Uma Bharti's supporters dismissed the reports as an attempt to confuse the rank and file of BJP which was deserting the parent party. An aide said she did not want a compromise.

The seer said it would be in the interest of the BJP if the party and Bharti came together again. "Otherwise (if she floats a political party), it will hurt BJP's interests. Everybody knows that".

Rajnath met the seer of the Udupi-based mutt on the occasion of the latter's 75th birth-year celebrations in Bangalore.

Rajnath refused to comment on whether he had sought a patch up but said he had a lot of respect for the seer.

In an interview to Shekhar Gupta on NDTV's Walk the Talk, she said both Vajpayee and Advani's families are being manipulated by the fundraisers.

Uma, who plans to launch her own political party, is to meet Chief Election Commissioner B.B. Tandon on Monday. She plans to ask the poll panel to allot her yet-to-be-born party one of the symbols — nandi (bull), the conch shell or the sun.

She has, however, dropped plans to stake claim to BJP’s lotus symbol. At a rally in Delhi on March 21, Uma had said she would launch her party on April 30.

Rajnath has consistently ruled out any move by the party to bring her back. His standard response on the issue is that "there is no proposal before the BJP parliamentary board, which expelled her."

Yet, Rajnath knows Uma will play the spoiler during the Assembly polls in UP and Uttaranchal in February 2007. Uma's rally in Delhi was quite impressive. She got on board not only fellow rebel like Madan Lal Khurana but also backward class leaders like Apna Dal's Sone Lal and the Chautalas of Haryana, besides a number of OBC and Dalit leaders from BJP.

Uma has kept good ties with fellow OBC leader Kalyan Singh, who is now in charge of UP and BJP's chief ministerial candidate for the next polls.

Rajnath has so far refused to criticise her. Uma, on her part, has been comparatively not so harsh in her criticism of the BJP president.