“The initiative however has to be taken by those at the helm of affairs”
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national vice-president Uma Bharti on Friday favoured the return of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to the party fold, but stopped short of directly inviting him saying that those at the helm of affairs should do that as she was not a senior leader.
Responding to a question as to whether she would bring Mr. Yeddyurappa back, at a press conference here, Ms. Bharti said the country was in crisis and everyone should be together. “If BJP becomes weak, country becomes weak,” she said. Continuing, Ms. Bharti said she was very much attached to Mr. Yeddyurappa.
She said, “Mr. Yeddyurappa was with me all along the Tiranga Yatra (during the Hubli Idgah ground controversy). Though I too had been a Chief Minister, he is too senior and is like an elder brother to me. Mr. Yeddyurappa is also a Swayavsevak. [For us] country first, I later. Ego has to be left aside.”
To another question as to whether BJP has become weak without Mr. Yeddyurappa, Ms. Bharti said, “I cannot say. BJP is cadre-based party. When I was outside BJP, I felt I was not serving the national interest. Anyone who has left BJP too would feel the same.”
As to her political ambitions in the wake of Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections nearing, Ms. Bharti said she never desired for power. “I resigned from the Chief Minister’s post after getting arrest warrant in Hubli Idgah ground issue, though I could have obtained advance bail,” she said.
Ms. Bharti said that the party had been fighting elections on the agenda of development unlike the Congress or the Left parties which fight on secular-communal agenda.
Speaking to presspersons before participating in party’s poll campaign here, Ms. Bharti said the party has taken the development plank ever since she was the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. “People think that Hindutva and development do not go together. But the party has disproved this wherever it has ruled and been ruling,” Ms. Bharti said.