Uma Bharti is back in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but not everyone seems excited. While Kalyan Singh on Tuesday refused to comment on her return, Vinay Katiyar categorically said it would make no difference to the party in the Uttar Pradesh polls next year.
"I do not see induction of a new face to make much of a difference to the party in Uttar Pradesh where there is no dearth of leaders," said Katiyar, a former state BJP chief and Bajrang Dal founder.
"In any case, she was clearly a more recognized face in Madhya Pradesh where she belongs."
Former BJP leader Kalyan Singh, who is struggling to establish his new independent party, refused to comment on Uma Bharti's return to the BJP fold after nearly six years.
"I will not say anything on the issue," he told IANS.
Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharti belong to the same Lodhi caste. Kalyan Singh was widely seen to be trying to wean away the community from BJP.
Katiyar was arguably the only potent backward community leader left in the BJP ranks in Uttar Pradesh after Kalyan Singh's exit.
Umar Bharti had been expelled from the BJP nearly six years ago for defying the party leadership. She was reinducted Tuesday and has been tasked to lay down the strategy for the party ahead in Uttar Pradesh.
State party chief Surya Pratap Shahi welcomed the move.
"I am sure Umaji will fill the vaccum of an aggressive women leader in our state unit. She is going to be a big asset, as everyone is aware of the key role played by her in the Ram temple movement," Shahi told reporters in Lucknow on Tuesday.