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Bharti unhappy with Chauhan's selection
November 28, 2005 16:02 IST
Breaking her silence, firebrand Bharatiya Janata Party leader Uma Bharti attacked the party high command on Monday for naming Shivraj Singh Chauhan as Madhya Pradesh chief minister, without consulting legislators and made it clear that she was 'unhappy' with the decision.
"This is the first time in the history of India's political parties that a Parlimentary board has chosen the chief minister," Bharti told reporters here. "Usually, someone's name is suggested but it is announced only after the legislature party elects the person.
Bharti said she had made her stand on the issue clear to senior party leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani on Saturday when the decision was taken. She, however, declined to divulge the details of her discussions with the two leaders.
The nomination of the chief minister by the Parliamentary board marked a 'new beginning' in the history of political parties, 'be it Congress, BJP or others,' Bharti said.
The BJP leader had arrived in Bhopal ahead of the legislature party meeting and was welcomed by supporters raising slogans in her favour.
She claimed she herself had never wanted to be reinstated as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh but said she was 'unhappy' with the decision to replace Babulal Gaur with Chauhan.
"I was elected Chief Minister by the people of the state. I may be a 'sanyasin', but I am a human also. Obviously, I was unhappy with the decision," she said.
However, Bharti rubbished a media report that she had called up BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley early on Sunday and threatened to commit suicide if she was not made chief minister. "This is a malicious report and a dirty joke meant to vilify my image," she said.
Bharti said she had come to Bhopal as an ordinary legislator to attend the legislature party meeting as, "I have never broken party discipline."
The leader, who has been named BJP general secretary in a move seen as an attempt to pacify her, said legislators had themselves demanded change of leadership in the state.
Asked whether she would support Chauhan at today's meeting or if it was likely that her supporters would nominate her, Bharti said, "Whatever I had to say (about Chauhan being made chief minister) I have conveyed to Atalji and Advaniji on Saturday. I am sorry but I cannot share these."