Total recall: Uma Bharti’s roller coaster ride with BJP
Uma Bharti's exit from the BJP came in the wake of her public spat with senior BJP leader LK Advani at a party meeting in 2004, in full view of television cameras.delhi Updated: Jun 08, 2011 00:01 IST
Uma Bharti's exit from the BJP came in the wake of her public spat with senior BJP leader LK Advani at a party meeting in 2004, in full view of television cameras.
She was first suspended, but her suspension was revoked under the RSS pressure. But she was expelled in 2005 after she opposed Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s appointment as Madhya Pradesh CM.
When Advani was talking about party discipline at the 2004 party meet, she challenged him alleging that leaders in the party were briefing the media against her. She then left the meeting in a huff.
She founded the Bharatiya Janashakti Party to damage the BJP in MP, but the party fared miserably in successive polls. The final blow came in the 2008 MP Assembly polls when she lost from her home turf of Tikamgarh in Bundelkhand, and her bete noire Shivraj Singh Chouhan won a comfortable majority for the BJP.
After losing, she wrote to NDA convenor Sharad Yadav to make her party part of the NDA. She said she would not be ideologically comfortable within the BJP, given that she supported the OBC quota within the women’s reservation bill.
It was after Nitin Gadkari took over as the BJP chief that the negotiations for her re-entry began taking shape.
Bharti, who came into the spotlight during the Ram Janmabhumi agitation in early 1990s, hit her peak in 2003, when she led the BJP to a massive majority in the MP polls, defeating the Congress under Digvijaya Singh.
But her decline began soon. Many saw her as a poor administrator. Her exit as the state CM came after an arrest warrant in 2004 for "inciting" riots in Hubli in 1994, and Babulal Gour and, later, Shivraj Singh Chouhan replaced her.
She felt that the party had deceived her and her spats with sections of central party leaders became frequent, finally leading to the run-in with Advani that eventually led to her ouster. She was a known opponent of Pramod Mahajan, Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley.