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Uma loyalists demand her reinstatement, meet Vajpayee
October 18, 2005 15:52 IST
Undeterred by Bharatiya Janata Party central leadership ruling out a change of guard in Madhya Pradesh, Uma Bharti loyalists continued to throng her residence in Bhopal in large numbers on Tuesday, voicing their demand for her reinstatement as the chief minister.
Amidst slogans asking Bharti to strive harder for a comeback, most of the 60 members of legislative Assembly and a large number of party workers visiting her were of the view that Babulal Gaur should have resigned as the chief minister soon after the Hubli court had acquitted her in a rioting case, sources said.
While former minister of state for home, Jagdish Muvel, claimed that BJP leaders like him will have to 'take sanyas' if Gaur continued in the post, others pledged support for Bharti.
Among the present ministers, Dhal Singh Bisen visited Bharti, along with some MLAs in the early half of Tuesday, sources said. Bharti, however, sought to keep mum over the controversy and told reporters in Ujjain on Monday night that it was an `internal family matter' and she would not comment on it.
Sulking over the party rejecting the demand of her loyalists, Bharti, who postponed her return to Bihar for campaigning by a day, planned to deliver a religious discourse in Bhopal.
Meanwhile, two ministers and an MLA considered close to Bharti met former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and are understood to have demanded her return to the top post.
Ministers Gauri Shankar Shejwar and Arun Mishra, who is also Vajpayee's nephew and state Legislature Party secretary Dhyanendra Singh met Vajpayee for about 30 minutes, the sources said.
Shejwar and Mishra, who represent loyalists of the former chief minister, are also expected to meet party President L K Advani later on Tuesday and hand over a memorandum claimed to be containing the signatures of over 120 MLAs and demanding change of leadership in the state.
Sources close to Bharati said the memorandum was not submitted to the party leadership on Monday on account of the lunar eclipse, which was considered 'inauspicious'.
A meeting of senior party leaders in Bhopal on Monday, chaired by Advani, had ruled out any leadership change in the state and disapproved public announcement of any signature campaign.
State unit President Shivraj Singh Chauhan had also held separate meetings with the dissident legislators.