NEW DELHI

Bharti loyalists seek her return as CM

Babulal Gaur should vacate his post to pave way for Uma Bharti, says loyalist Prahlad Patel

Staff Correspondent

BHOPAL: Following the decision of the Hubli Additional District and Session's Court last Tuesday to uphold the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Uma Bharti's discharge by a lower court in a decade-old criminal case, Bharti loyalists here have started demanding her reinstallation as the State Chief Minister.

The former Union Minister and a staunch Uma Bharti supporter Prahlad Patel was among the first to reiterate the demand for Ms. Bharti's return as Chief Minister.

He went public while talking to a section of the media here on Thursday demanding that the Chief Minister, Babulal Gaur, should voluntarily vacate his post to pave way for Ms. Bharti's reinduction as Chief Minister.

The State BJP unit organizing General Secretary, Kaptan Singh Solanki, has reacted sharply against those fanning dissension by announcing that public airing of grievances could even lead to expulsion from the party.

He has stated that avenues are available to the BJP rank and file to air their grievances but public display of discontent would not be tolerated.

Mr. Patel described Ms. Bharti as a leader having the same stature as the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and said that Mr. Gaur, who was nominated in her place when she had been forced to quit office due to the Hubli case, should now step down. Ms. Bharti also got a huge mandate from the people in the last election to rule the State, he pointed out.

Adopting a similar posture, Rajya Sabha member Laxmi Narayan Sharma told media here that Ms. Bharti had relinquished office on moral grounds after an arrest warrant had been issued against her by the Hubli Court.

Now when she has been absolved of all charges, she should take over the reins and once more lead the State keeping in view the feelings of the people of this State and party workers.

When a State Minister was contacted, he preferred anonymity and said that under special circumstances, Ms. Bharti had to resign and Mr. Gaur took over as Chief Minister in August 2004.

The BJP led-State Government is functioning smoothly and it would be na�ve to talk of leadership change at this juncture, he added.

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