Uma rules out return to BJP

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DRAWING CROWDS: Bharatiya Jan Shakti president Uma Bharti addressing her party's first foundation day function in Bhopal on Monday.
DRAWING CROWDS: Bharatiya Jan Shakti president Uma Bharti addressing her party's first foundation day function in Bhopal on Monday.

Bhopal: Firmly ruling out her return to BJP despite withdrawal of nominees in Uttar Pradesh polls, Bharatiya Jana Shakti (BJS) president Uma Bharti on Monday said she can protect people by keeping away from an organisation which has abandoned its "ideology".

"I am making it certain the last time that I am not going back to BJP. I feel hurt whenever I am asked about it. BJP should stop disinformation campaign on the matter," Ms. Bharti told reporters after addressing a party convention here on the occasion of first anniversary of its formation.

Stating that withdrawal of BJS candidates in Uttar Pradesh should not be seen as a precursor to return to BJP, she told the rally that Congress and BJP "betrayed" people with Babri and Hindutva, while poverty and unemployment were real issues.

On senior leader Madan Lal Khurana quitting BJS protesting withdrawal of candidates in Uttar Pradesh, she said many people joined the party and some others left since its formation. These would not make any difference, she said.

Claiming that she could have made substantial personal gains by remaining in BJP, Ms. Bharti said the decision to quit the saffron party, which had given up its ideology and Hindutva, was driven by her desire to protect people's and country's interests.

Accusing ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh of being vindictive, she appealed to RSS not to cooperate with the chief minister, ministers and officials in this regard. Making a scathing attack on the BJP government in the State, Ms. Bharti accused it of failing to fulfil the promises of good roads, electricity and water made to the people before the 2003 Assembly elections.

The issues on which BJP had scored a landslide victory in 2003 polls under her leadership would be highlighted in a campaign by BJS from May 15 during which a day's fasting would be observed in affected areas of the State, she said.

Reiterating her claim that BJP would be split in October 2008 before next Assembly polls in the State, she said devotees of Lord Ram would join her, while the power hungry would remain in BJP.

Regarding a suicide committed by a farmer in Chhindwara district, Ms. Bharti said the plight of the peasants was due to faulty policies adopted by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.

BJS national general secretary Prahlad Patel would launch a vigorous movement to highlight farmers' problems, she said. -- PTI



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