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Uma?s journey to power via Ayodhya

UMA BHARTI?S 860-km-long ?Ram Roti Yatra? could be best summed up as the Sanyasin?s political journey to power. Only the route goes via Ayodhya. The day goes in trekking to her destination Ayodhya, while the night is spent in a tent in the open air. But her speeches remain political in both tone and tenor. She wants BJP to regain its original character. So upbeat is the mood of her supporters that about a thousand of them spent their night under the sky in this cold weather in Jagdishpur without any complaints.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2006 01:27 IST

UMA BHARTI’S 860-km-long ‘Ram Roti Yatra’ could be best summed up as the Sanyasin’s political journey to power. Only the route goes via Ayodhya.

The day goes in trekking to her destination Ayodhya, while the night is spent in a tent in the open air. But her speeches remain political in both tone and tenor.

She wants BJP to regain its original character. So upbeat is the mood of her supporters that about a thousand of them spent their night under the sky in this cold weather in Jagdishpur without any complaints. In their enthusiasm, many of them even compare her ‘Ram Roti Yatra’ with Advani’s Somnath to Ayodhya Yatra in early 1990’s.

Though suspense prevails on the ‘sankalp’ that she would take on the banks of Saryu river after a dip in the holy river on Makar Sankranti day, many believe she may re-launch the temple movement. If she does so, Uma would become the rallying point for all those who deserted the BJP or are sulking since the party dumped the temple issue. Her spokesperson says: “ She may mix politics and religion as both the party’s ideology and building of Rama temple are connected”. However, she herself has been saying that there will be no politics in the temple city. Whatever, hopefuls in the BJP believe that her yatra would not only give boost to the temple movement but also help rebuild the lost base of the BJP in the state.

Both the prominent BJP leaders of Ayodhya are active in their own way. While supporters of Vinay Katiyar are busy giving final touches to the arrangements, Lallu Singh is talking to party president Rajnath Singh on her comeback. Though she has not diluted her attack on Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani, her supporters foresee her grand re-entry soon. And in their enthusiasm, they quote the case of UP’s very own backward leader Kalyan Singh, who had not even spared the parent body, RSS. He not only returned to the party but may soon went on to lead UP once again.

Officially, however, none of the wings of the Sangh Parivar are associated with Uma Bharti’s yatra, though party leaders were spotted everywhere. Former BJP MLA from Gauriganj Tej Bhan Singh, Jila Panchayat member Rajesh Kumar Singh, former BJP minister Swamy Chinmayanand openly took part in her rally in Sultanpur. In fact, many party workers openly said that she was only assisting Rajnath Singh in reviving the party in the state. Few believe that she would float her own party. She knows that Kalyan Singh too had failed in his experiment.

Even VHP has extended a helping hand. Official spokesperson Sharad Sharma says, “We don’t interfere in the internal matters of the BJP. But Uma Bharti is a Ram Bhakt and we welcome all Ram Bhakts. VHP is making arrangements for her stay at Kar Sewak Puram”. He said though most of the saints had left for Allahabad for Makar Sankranti but Jagdish Das of Hanuman Bagh, Ram Bilas Vedanti, Mahant of Laxman Qila Dheesh etc would be there to welcome her.

She would be welcomed in Faizabad tomorrow morning by her guru Tejavar Swamy of Udipi. Right now she is in the outskirts of the district. Her two-day programme in Ayodhya includes Sankalp at Saryu, Chaudah Kosi Parikrama and a rally at Kar Sewak Puram besides wayside meetings.

Already there is excitement in the air as the temple city would reverberate with slogans of Jai Sri Ram after a long lull on that front.

First Published: Jan 13, 2006 01:27 IST