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Another BJP

After declaring that ?Ram and roti? would be the prime agenda of her new party, Uma Bharti today launched Bharatiya Janshakti Party in front of the Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain.

india Updated: May 01, 2006 23:21 IST
Sandeep Vatsa
Sandeep Vatsa

After declaring that ‘Ram and roti’ would be the prime agenda of her new party, Uma Bharti today launched Bharatiya Janshakti Party in front of the Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain.

The expelled BJP leader unfurled her party’s saffron flag bearing a sun symbol in the presence of nearly 2000 supporters after offering prayers at the temple. No sitting MLA from the State attended the party launch function.

Later addressing a public meeting, she lambasted BJP’s top leaders for driving her to a situation where she was forced to form the party.

The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, who became the president of the new outfit, named Sanghpriya Gautam the vice-president, Raghunandan Sharma, who resigned as State vice-president of the BJP yesterday, the general secretary and Anita Singh the treasurer. Madanlal Khurana, who has not joined the party, was present.

After the party was launched, a rally was taken out and the numbers swelled to 10000 supporters. The maximum supporters came from Bundelkhand where Uma hails from.

The constitution of the new outfit was drafted on Saturday at Dhar. Earlier announcing the Ram-roti plank of her party, Uma Bharti told reporters that a majority of the MLAs were with her but they were not invited for the party launch as that would have jeopardised their membership of the Vidhan Sabha. She said the Bharatiya Janshakti Party was formed to “save the BJP”. Referring to the sun symbol in her party flag, she said the lotus would bloom only in sunlight.

Describing loyalist and former union minister Prahlad Patel as her ``Lakshman and Hanuman,’’ she claimed that though the grassroots workers played a vital role to strengthen the BJP, a handful of people took over its reins Calling Shivraj Singh Chouhan a rubber stamp of Pramod Mahajan and Arun Jaitley in Madhya Pradesh, she said the CM was so weak that he was forced to go door-to-door to seek votes in the Budhni by-election.

At the public meeting, she said a few leaders had hijacked the BJP and the workers who worked hard to bring the party to power had been ledt in the lurch. In an attempt to shed a Hindu hardliner image, Uma assured the Muslims that her party would work for their development but would not seek their votes on the basis of religion.

Reservation should continue till the most backward people could get equal opportunities in education, she said, adding quota on economic ground should also be considered. She called for financial self-reliance for women. She said her party was open to sea-sharing talks with the BJP in assembly and parliamentary elections so that the struggle of ideologies should not benefit the Congress.

Criticising L K Advani’s statement on Jinnah, Uma said some leaders were trying to appease Muslims in India by applauding Pakistani leaders. Chandrahas Singhvi (Rajasthan), Tapan Sikdar (Kolkata), Mithilesh Gautam and Prithviraj Desai (both Gujarat), Sunil Jain (Allahabad), Amruit Tarwala (Khandwa) and Mohanlal Parikh joined the party.

Sadhvi’s BJP plank
1 Ram and roti will be main agenda

2 Party to fight for uplift of Muslims but won’t seek their votes on the basis of religion

3 Reservation must continue but economic quota should be considered

4 Open to seat-sharing talks with the BJP during polls as Cong should not benefit from the struggle of the two BJPs

First Published: May 01, 2006 23:21 IST