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Uma Bharti expelled from BJP; slams Advani
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | December 05, 2005 18:09 IST
Last Updated: December 05, 2005 23:16 IST
Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti was expelled from the primary membership of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday.
No time was fixed for the expulsion.
Announcing the decision of the BJP parliamentary board that met for hardly half an hour, party General Secretary Arun Jaitley said the board considered the reply that Bharti had sent on Sunday after she was served with a show cause notice to explain her conduct.
"The board found that the issues raised by her in the letter were totally irrelevant and incorrect and that she had resorted to this to divert focus from the issue. The board considered that her utterances and language used was not part of dignified politics. Thus, Uma Bharti has been expelled from the primary membership of the party," he said.
Eight out of the nine members of the parliamentary board barring M Venkaiah Naidu were present at the meeting that was presided over by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Others present included party President L K Advani, M M Joshi, Jaswant Singh and Sushma Swaraj.
The party rejected the issues raised by Uma Bharti in her three-page letter addressed to Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who had signed the show cause notice.
Talking about the acts of indiscipline by other leaders of the party, Jaitley said the agenda before the parliamentary board was that of Uma Bharti and no other matter was considered.
The Madhya Pradesh BJP unit would take decision about the 13 MLAs who had defied the party during the meeting of the MLAs to elect the new chief minister last week, he added.
"Out of them nine have expressed their regret. The state unit would take a decision and the same would be reviewed by the central leadership," he said.
Bharti was formally served the expulsion order on Monday night.
The two-para letter, signed by party Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, conveyed the parliamentary board's decision to the Sanyasin and said it was taken after considering all the points in her reply to the show-cause notice and her statements in the media, party sources said.
Meanwhile, hitting back at BJP leadership, Bharti demanded expulsion of party President L K Advani accusing him of committing "gross indiscipline" by "saluting" Pakistan founder Mohd Ali Jinnah.
"I want to know if discipline is more important or party president. I will petition BJP's disciplinary committee seeking expulsion of Advani as he broke discipline by praising Jinnah," she told reporters in the midst of her Bhopal-Ayodhya yatra.
Claiming that Advani's controversial statement on Jinnah during his visit to Pakistan had tarnished India image and hurt the sentiments of crores of countrymen, Bharti demanded that Advani resign from BJP presidentship and apologise to the nation for committing an "act of indiscipline.
Refuting charges of "anti-party" activity, use of undignified language in her reply to party's show cause notice and attempt to divert people's attention, the fiery sanyasin said she would send a petition to Ram Naik, Chairman of BJP's Disciplinary Committee, on Tuesday for action against Advani.
Refusing to accept the decision to expel her, Bharti said she would make an appeal before Disciplinary Committee against the decision.
Despite widespread condemnation of his remarks, Advani once again showered praise on Jinnah at a seminar on his return from Pakistan, Bharti said.
Maintaining that she would continue her Ayodhya yatra and wait for a response from Ram Naik, the firebrand leader hoped that the decision of the disciplinary committee would go in her favour and do justice.
Asked whether she planned to float a new party, Bharti said, "BJP is mine. I will live and die in BJP." She added that she would decide her future course of action after the Ayodhya yatra.
Asserting that her battle was not against BJP but "against six persons" in the party, Bharti said they were "two pilots and
"I don't consider these six people as BJP which belongs to lakhs of party workers," the fiery sanyasin said, adding that her battle was for ideology and principles.
Claiming the support of a majority of MLAs in Madhya Pradesh, Bharti asserted that only a secret ballot at the legislature party meeting could reveal Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's strength.
"If leaders sitting in Delhi convene legislature party meeting again and hold secret voting, Chouhan will know his strength ...Even today, I enjoy the support of 116 MLAs," Bharti said.
She alleged that the BJP general secretary Pramod Mahajan had "snatched" the government, which was like her child, and handed it over to others.
"The MLAs were mine, power was with me and the government was given to somebody else," she alleged, saying, "I never wanted Pramod Mahajan to decide who will be the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh."
On why she has trained guns on leaders like Vajpayee and Advani, she said she was reacting to the charges levelled against her.
"I will have to reply to the charges to protect my self-respect. If you (senior leaders) have respect, I too have it," she claimed.
Meanwhile, former BJP ideologoue Govindacharya observed that Bharti was capable of tackling the present crisis on her own and would emerge successful.
"Umaji has the capability to tackle the present crisis and emerge successful and there is no need for any support or advice in this regard," Govindacharya told reporters in New Delhi.
Asked about the propriety of Bharti reviving the "Ram and Roti" slogan only when faced with a personal crisis, Govindacharya said the slogan was a symbol of Indian cultural consciousness.
"It (slogan) is symbolic of the Indian cultural consciousness and it is free for all to use. However, if a leader with credibility uses it in a personal context, people will not find anything wrong," he said.
Govindacharya, who at present, heads an organisation called the Rashtriya Swaabhiman Andolan, denied reports that
With Agency inputs