BJPs irrelevant leaders rally around Uma Bharti

New Delhi, March 21 | Updated: Mar 22 2006, 05:30am hrs
If her Janadesh rally was organised to prove her strength, it did more for firebrand leader Uma Bharti, who is planning to launch her political party on April 30, in showing that she could be a rallying point for the disgruntled elements in the BJP.

Though most of the leaders sharing the dais were those suspended from the BJP like former Delhi strongman Madanlal Khurana, Basavaraj Patil from Karnataka and former West Bengal BJP president Tapan Sikdar, it was the presence of former Union ministers Sanghpriya Gautam and Swami Chinmayanand that came as an additional setback to the BJP.

This was despite BJP president Rajnath Singh adopting a no-nonsense approach, warning of suspending all those attending the rally from the party.

While Mr Gautam, a veteran Dalit leader, was suspended from the party within hours after he attended the rally, BJPs state units of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are likely to take similar actions against Mr Chinmayanand and the MP legislators respectively, according to party spokesman Prakash Javadekar.

This action against Mr Gautam comes within 48 hours after Mr Khurana was suspended from the party for confirming his participation in the rally and expressing his frustration against the party leadership sidelining him.

Although the BJP sources said the leaders attending the rally were not very relevant or prominent at the present, the worry nevertheless was about Ms Bharti targeting more disgruntled and sidelined leaders in the party. Moreover, though Ms Bharti claimed at the rally that her new party would be devoid of the BJPs lotus symbol, the ideology would be core Hindutvaa good excuse for the disgruntled elements to defy the BJP.

Though the election in her stronghold of Madhya Pradesh was far away, the BJP is worried about the potential trouble that she could cause to the partys fortunes in Uttaranchal, where the saffron party hopes to displace the Congress government in the coming elections.

Even the BJPs revival plans in Uttar Pradesh may be affected to an extent by Ms Bharti, especially if the Vishwa Hindu Parishad also comes openly in support of the new outfit, which has Ram and Roti as its slogan.

Sources close to Ms Bharti claim that she will cause great damage to the BJP.