Firebrand Uma Bharti is considered an enigma in Indian politics. Nearly six years after the Hindutva poster-girl parted ways with the Bharatiya Janata Party and floated her own political outfit, Bharatiya Janashakti Party, news of her returning back to the saffron party is doing the rounds. On her programme Kahiye Janab, Swati Chaturvedi of Zeenews.com finds out what makes the sanyasin tick and her future course of action.
Swati: There seems to be a lot of confusion about you returning back to the BJP. What could be the reason?
Uma Bharti: Ever since I left the BJP, I have been going through a difficult phase. For that I am deeply hurt. I do not want to revisit those difficult times again.
Swati: The second-rung leadership of BJP is united against you. Some of them are reluctant to re-induct you in the party.
Uma Bharti: I do not want to blame anyone. I need to find faults in myself first. I admit that my meteoric rise in saffron politics had developed a sense of arrogance in me. Unless I end that arrogance, I won’t make any political decision.
I am preparing for my next political action. For that I need a peaceful mind. I requested both Advaniji and Gadkariji to give me some time to decide on my political direction.
I do not have the money power to manage and run a political party successfully. There are two options left with me. Either I could be a part of an established political organization, or could work in social sphere.
Swati: There is a dearth of mass leaders in BJP like you. Today BJP needs you. But there is someone in the party who is afraid of you and is obstructing your re-induction into the party.
Uma Bharti: At this juncture, I am afraid of myself the most.
Swati: You said you are deeply hurt. Who has hurt you? Earlier, you reportedly termed Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley as ‘corrupt’.
Uma Bharti: I have never said so.
Swati: In the 2003 Assembly polls you led the BJP to a three-fourth majority in Madhya Pradesh. But it is strange that today you do not want to work there.
Uma Bharti: It is true that Uma Bharti with her Bharatiya Janashakti Party could not attract the voters of Madhya Pradesh. May be I have some drawbacks. I am trying to rectify those.
Swati: The road to Delhi goes via Uttar Pradesh. You have declared that you will take on Mayawati in her home turf. What is your take on UP politics?
Uma Bharti: Uttar Pradesh is the holy land of Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi. To me Uttar Pradesh is the uttar (answer) to many contemporary problems of the country. It was precisely the reason I intend to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from the state. I am sure the state will understand the essence of both Ram and roti.
Uttar Pradesh is a land of social engineering. The state’s social engineering has produced two so-called socialist leaders of the present times -- Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav. But, both the leaders betrayed the same Dalits and Muslims by whose vote they rode to the crest of power. There is a need to reshape the social engineering of the state.
What kind of social engineering do you believe in?
Uma Bharti: I am pained to see the crude chasm between the rich and poor across the country. We need to listen to each voice, whether positive or negative. That is the beauty of democracy.
Take the example of Binayak Sen’s case in Chhattisgarh. He might have Naxalite connections, but he is not a Naxalite himself. Hence, his case needs to be revisited. By saying so, I do not intend to favour Binayak Sen. I am favouring the tribals for whom he claims to be fighting.
Swati: Your fans remind you of your prominent role in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
Uma Bharti: Well, even before being associated with the Ayodhya movement I worked amongst the poor. I love to be identified with the poor. At the same time I will continue to fight for the Hindu right.
I am sure a resplendent Ram temple will be built in Ayodhya. I am equally concerned about both Ram and roti and will continue to work for the same. It is time now to think a step ahead -- to think about the Ram Rajya.
Swati: Reacting to the WikiLeaks exposure of Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Hindu extremism’ remarks you offered to tutor him.
Uma Bharti: Rahul Gandhi treats Digvijay Singh as his tutor. I am sure I could be a better teacher than him. Rahul should not forget the very fact that 80 per cent of India’s population constitutes Hindus. The Congress party also needs the Hindu votes to survive. Rahul should understand the reality that saffron is not the exclusive symbol of the Sangh or the BJP. It is the symbol of Hindutva. He has no right to disrespect the symbol of Hindutva.
Swati: Suppose you want to convey three messages to Rahul Gandhi. What could those messages be?
Uma Bharti: First, Rahul should either take sanyas or get married. It will give him a stable mind. Second, if he really wants to understand politics he is most welcome to seek advice from people like me. Third, he has a very good family background; he should know his family history well before rubbishing the RSS. It was his great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru who wrote letter to then sarasanghchalak Guru MS Golwalkar inviting the RSS to attend the Independence Day parade.
Swati: Digvijay Singh is your political rival. What relationship do you share on a personal front?
Uma Bharti: Digvijay Singh is like my elder brother. I know him since I was eight years old. But he is my worst political rival. I defeated him in the parliamentary elections in Madhya Pradesh. He was in-charge of Congress’ election campaign in the 2005 Bihar polls. I was a prabhari in that election for the BJP. Congress lost badly and the BJP-backed coalition won. Once again, he lost to me. I have done serious political damage to him and will continue to do so in the future. That is my fitting riposte to him. He never thinks about nation’s interest. He always eyes vote bank.
Rahul Gandhi is imitating Digvijay Singh. I am sure he will make a very poor photocopy of Digvijay Singh.
Swati: I have been observing you for quite a long time. Now I can see a new maturity in you which is lacking in many of other BJP leaders.
Uma Bharti: I have very high regards for the BJP leadership.