Bhopal, Oct 1 (IANS): Former Union Minister Uma Bharti, who has been sidelined in State as well as Central politics, is making all effort to get back into the frame using different tactics at different times.
The firebrand Hindutva leader, who is known for her straightforwardness, does not hesitate to hit out at the top leadership of the BJP, even Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She does not hesitate to point out that the saffron party was brought to power in Madhya Pradesh in 2003 under her leadership after ousting the 10-year-old Digvijaya Singh government.
However, since then a lot has changed in the political scenario in the state as well as in the centre leadership of the BJP.
With an eye on the forthcoming Madhya Pradesh elections Bharti started building pressure on the state BJP and she got ample opportunity to express her anger over the state government’s liquor policy. Not only did she take to the streets to protest along with her supporters, but also warned that the BJP would bear the cost of the policy.
Bharti was miffed when her loyalist Pritam Lodhi was removed from the BJP’s primary membership citing his anti-party activities; however later he was not only re-inducted into the party but also given a ticket for the forthcoming Assembly elections.
Bharti, who has never hesitated to speak her mind, even if it means going against her own party, has pushed for a sub-quota for OBC women within the Women’s Reservation Bill and opened up a front against the central leadership of the BJP.
However, Bharti got an indirect rap from Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he said that some people were hatching a conspiracy to divide women for their own benefit on the ‘Women’s Reservation Bill’.
Though, Modi’s remark during his last visit to Bhopal was aimed largely at the Congress and especially the Gandhi family, but he also gave an indirect message to all those raising their voice for an OBC quota within the BJP.
During his speech, Modi had also said that it’s a “new and energised BJP”, apparently sending a message to his party colleagues that everything would be decided by the top leadership.
Political observers say that the BJP does not give much attention to Bharti’s pressure tactics because they know that she lost her aura after she quit the BJP, formed her own political party and lost the election in 2008. Later, she went back to the BJP and served as a Union Minister in Modi's Cabinet.
Senior journalist Milind Ghatwai says, “Bharti has been trying to create a space for herself and regain her former glory, not by targeting the Opposition but her own party and colleagues, some of whom like Chief Minister Chouhan are used to her temperamental outbursts and prefer to steer clear of her.”
Though Bharti has announced that she won’t be contest the forthcoming Assembly elections, she’s repeatedly made it clear that she hasn’t taken political ‘sanyas’.
Recently, Bharti embarrassed the party by saying that she felt insulted for not being invited to participate in the ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ being taken out in the poll-bound state.
“In 2012, Bharti was banished from Madhya Pradesh and made to contest an Assembly election in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh because BJP leaders then argued that her presence would destabilise the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government and the party. But things have changed a lot since then,” Milind Ghatwai said.
Political observers also believe that Bharti's resentment would not harm the BJP because now there are many OBC leaders who have established themselves to fill the gap. And she also has no choice but to build pressure on the BJP to keep herself politically relevant in her home state.