M A I N   N E W S

Uma Bharati suspended from BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 30
A day after Mr Shivraj Singh Chauhan took oath as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, the BJP today suspended mercurial Sanyasin Uma Bharati from the primary membership of the party for “anti-party activity”, paving the way for her expulsion.

It took just 15 minutes for the party’s highest decision making organ, the Central Parliamentary Board, which met here under the chairmanship of party president L K Advani in the presence of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to take disciplinary action against Ms Bharati for “her conduct and statements” in the wake of the recent leadership change in Madhya Pradesh.

The meeting was attended by senior party leaders Jaswant Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, Sanjay Joshi, Arun Jaitley and Pramod Mahajan.

“The attention of the Board was drawn to her conduct and statements over the last few days and it was of the opinion that these constituted anti-party activity. It was decided to suspend her from the primary membership of the party. A show-cause notice would be served to her with three days time to respond as to why she should not be expelled from the party,” BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley said in a brief statement after the meeting.

Soon after the decision, the party moved swiftly to serve her the show-cause notice, both at her Delhi and Bhopal residences, and asked her to respond to it by December 2.

The notice, issued by party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, has charged her with openly defying the unanimous decision of the Central Parliamentary Board and deliberately defaming the party and its leaders and has asked Ms Bharati to explain within three days why she should not be expelled from the party.

The party in the show-cause notice, served under Article 25 of the party constitution, charged her with “openly defying, criticising and defaming” the unanimous decisions of the supreme decision-making body, the Central Parliamentary Board, which decided to appoint Shivraj Singh Chauhan as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister replacing Babulal Gaur, party sources said.

It also charged her with deliberately defaming the party and its leaders through statements in the print and electronic media.

Refusing to accept the Board’s nomination of Mr Shivraj Singh Chauhan as the next Chief Minister, Ms Bharati had on Monday stormed out of the state BJP legislature party meeting in Bhopal with 13 loyalist MLAs even as her supporters indulged in violence outside. Addressing reporters yesterday, she went ballistic charging all senior leaders including Mr Advani of violating party discipline and began a padyatra to Ayodhya.

Ms Bharati was suspended from the party last November also after she publicly dared Mr Advani to take action against her at a meeting of party’s Central office-bearers.

Ms Bharati’s suspension was revoked a month later after she apologised for “hurting” Mr Advani.

A protege of late Vijayaraje Scindia, the mercurial leader has been closely associated with the BJP since the Ram Janambhoomi movement and is an accused in the Babri Mosque demolition case along with Mr Advani and Mr Murli Manohar Joshi.

A favourite of the Sangh Parivar, the RSS had exerted pressure on the BJP for revoking her suspension last year but this time around it has distanced itself from her after she targeted its Joint General Secretary Suresh Soni.

When contacted, RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav virtually washed the Sangh’s hands off Ms Uma Bharati saying “The RSS has always given highest priority to discipline. But this is not an issue for the RSS to react as it is the internal matter of the BJP”.

The RSS, which had lobbied in her favour after her suspension last November, has distanced itself from her after she attacked its Joint General Secretary Suresh Soni and charged him with interfering in the party’s Madhya Pradesh affairs.

BJP General Secretary Pramod Mahajan had yesterday announced immediate suspension of six of her close associates, including former Union Minister Prahlad Patel. He also directed party, workers not to take part in Ms Bharati’s “so-called padyatra” to Ayodhya from Bhopal.

Even as three of the MLAs, who had walked out along with her from the legislature party meeting apologised, the party served show-cause notices to Ms Bharati and all 13 loyalist MLAs.

Ms Bharati is understood to have spoken to Mr Jaitley this morning but the party had already made up its mind not to tolerate any more of her “tantrums” and has reconciled to running the Government in Madhya Pradesh without the support of her loyalist legislators, sources said.

Though the party has given her three days to explain her stand, neither the party expects her to climb down nor is it in a mood to accommodate her further having coming to the conclusion that “her temperament does not suit public life,” the sources said.

“Her expulsion is almost a foregone conclusion. It is a matter of technicality. No party can function with this kind of indiscipline,” a senior leader said.



Sanyasin turns subdued
N.D. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Bhopal, November 30
Following her suspension from primary membership of the BJP, firebrand Uma Bharati turned into a block of ice today. After lashing out at the top party leaders with an acid tongue for two days, she was today the embodiment of humility and meekness.

In a brief statement issued to reporters at a dhaba on the outskirts of Bhopal (as she is on Bhopal to Ayodhya padyatra), the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister said: “Atalji and Advaniji are like my father and I am just a daughter to them.”

She requested them with utmost humility not to treat this matter (of her indiscipline) as an “organisational law and order problem”, but look at it in the right perspective. There was always scope for a dialogue, she added.

She refused to retract from what she had said about Mr Pramod Mahajan and Mr Arun Jaitley in the past two days.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |