Gadkari lobbies for Uma return

With BJP chief Nitin Gadkari’s efforts to bring back saffron sanyasin Uma Bharti in the party fold not yielding any results, Mr Gadkari, it was learnt, has offered to become the guarantor of Ms Bharti.

A decision to reinstate Ms Bharti is likely to be taken within a fortnight after Mr Gadkari assured the saffron sanyasin’s critics within the party that she will be effectively used in Uttar Pradesh where the party is desperately trying to revive its numbers, sources said. Mr Gadkari, it was learnt, has also made this clear to Ms Bharti.
The BJP meanwhile, has also decided that it will never have any alliance with Mr Ajit Singh’s RLD. After the 2009 general elections, the RLD had snapped ties with the BJP.
When asked whether the BJP will have any alliance with the RLD for the UP polls, Mr Gadkari said: “We want a tikaao (long-standing) ally, not a bikaao (opportunistic) ally. We will never have any alliance with the RLD.” He, however, refused to comment on Ms Bharti’s issue and said the party will announce if any decision is taken in this regard.
To keep the party’s Madhya Pradesh unit (read chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan) in good humour, which is against the reinstatement of Ms Bharti, Mr Gadkari had told its state unit that Ms Bharti will be given the task of reviving the party’s electoral prospects in Uttar Pradesh, where Assembly polls are scheduled next year. He has assured Ms Bharti’s critics that if there will be any interference by her in Madhya Pradesh, which many in the party are apprehensive about, action will be taken against her. Ms Bharti is the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister.
She had to quit the BJP after she publicly criticised senior BJP leader L.K. Advani.
Sources said Mr Gadkari had discussed this issue recently with the central leadership and assured them that Ms Bharti, a Lodh leader, will help the party in attracting votes of backward community as well as Hindu voters. Currently, the party has 51 members in the 403-member UP Assembly.

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