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Uma Bharti looking for an alibi to return to BJP?

March 22, 2009 19:16 IST
Saffron clad Bhartiya Janshakti Party chief Uma Bharti , who fell out with the Bharatiya Janata Party after playing a long innings as one of its firebrand Hindutva faces, appeared to be looking for an excuse to once again fall in line with her parent party from where she marched out in a huff a couple of years ago.

Not only does she have plans to openly support and campaign for BJP prime ministerial nominee Lal Krishna Advani , but was also willing to campaign for Lucknow's BJP candidate Lalji Tandon.

"I am all for Lal Krishna Advani ji , but not for BJP," she declared at a press conference , shortly before she drove off to Ayodhya to offer prayers at the Ramjanmbhoomi temple.

Asked if her intent to support Advani was aimed at keeping doors open to seek a position in case Advani rode on to become the country's prime minister, she shot back, "That question does not arise because I am not even contesting the election."

She hastened to add, "My support for Advani ji will be in my capacity as leader of my party, which will continue to remain an independent entity ."

"I will go to campaign for BJP wherever Advani wants me to go and would be ready to offer my services even for  Tandon ji  if he so desires," Bharti added.

Bharti had however made up her mind not to campaign against BJP rebel Kalyan Singh, who had recently joined hands with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

The sadhvi-turned-politician, who belongs to the same caste as Kalyan felt, "Kalyan Singh ji has hurt the sentiment of lakhs of people like me. Therefore, he must take back his words and tender a public apology for expressing regret over Babri Masjid demolition for which he had once proudly owned up responsibility. I will then happily go campaigning door to door, seeking votes for him."

Asked to comment on Kalyan's  association with Mulayam, she said, "Kalyan and Mulayam have been together in the past as well when Kalyan's son, Rajivir Singh was appointed minister in the Mulayam government ; so what is new about their bonhomie?"

Even as she denied that she was paving way for an obvious rapprochement with the BJP , she admitted, "My trip to Ayodhya was funded by some BJP leaders only as I did not have sufficient money to even hire a private cab."

When a scribe sought her comments on Varun Gandhi's much talked about diatribe against Muslims, she pointed out,  "I think both have to refrain -- what Varun said about Muslim community is bad but if Naqvi has really said it that BJP is no construction company to build the temple in Ayodhya , then Naqvi is not a true BJP leader ;  I can
understand  Varun if he has hurt the sentiments of Muslims, then Naqvi should also know what he has said was also likely to hurt someone's sentiments ; he may or may not lose, but he should not hurt the sentiments."

Sharat Pradhan