Two years after Uma Bharti's expulsion from the Bharatiya Janata Party, efforts have been initiated for her return to the party in view of the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls to prevent division of "Hindu votes".
The talk of Bharti's return was triggered after her spiritual guru Pejewar Swami Vishvesha Tirtha appealed her and the BJP to re-unite for Gujarat elections scheduled for next month.
The Swami has talked to Bharti to persuade her to return to BJP and she has not rejected it, sources said. Bharti, in a statement, said she would discuss with her party colleagues to find a way to honour the wishes of her guru.
BJP sources said the party was open to considering the return of the fiery leader, who was expelled in 2005 on charges of anti-party activities after she made a scathing attack on the central leadership.
For the record, BJP chief Rajnath Singh, however, said only the party forum can decide about taking anybody back although the BJP honours the directions of Hindu religious leaders.
Bharti, who launched Bhartiya Jan Shakti party after expulsion from the BJP, announced that she would field her candidates at several places in Gujarat.
However, Bharti's close lieutenant Prahlad Patel described talks about her return as a "disgusting conspiracy to malign her image".
"It does not hold much water," he told PTI on talks about her return. The BJP has been talking of her return time and again to derail her Bhartiya Janshakti Party's plans but there was never any discussion on her re-entry.