A ‘Phoenix’, always rises from the ashes, is the most apt description for the well known firebrand saffron leader Uma Bharti. She has been chosen as the face of BJP in the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. In a candid chat with Zeenews.com’s Swati Chaturvedi on her programme Kahiye Janab, BJP’s star campaigner in Uttar Pradesh, Uma Bharti talks about the “merciless government” of Mayawati, increasing crime graph in the state and her intentions to serve the people of UP and lots more.
Swati: You have started a new journey in politics. Congress labelled you as ‘Pootna’ and later you said that you are like Rahul’s ‘aunt’. So what’s your say about your ‘nephew’?
Uma: When Nitin Gadkari announced my name as the BJP candidate from Charkari Assembly seat, I was very hurt by Rahul Gandhi’s reaction. It was a personal attack.
Late Shri Rajiv Gandhi had once called me as his younger sister when I was a Parliamentarian. Recalling this incident, I never imagined that Rahul would allow the use of such indecent language against me. He should remember the culture of the family from which he belongs to. So I cleared the air by calling a press conference.
Poverty and backwardness in UP are at its extreme. The condition of Amethi and Raebareli is very bad and same is the condition of any of the VVIP constituencies. In such a state, if the leaders get personal and furnish war of words, then what will happen of the development of the state? So it was necessary to end this war of words.
Swati: In various election campaigns, Congress is attacking Mayawati’s government and vice-versa but BJP is nowhere in the scene. What is your say?
Uma: If you look in a broader perspective, BJP is the number one party in Uttar Pradesh. As in every village of UP you can find two party worker of BJP, whereas there are many villages where there is not even a single party worker from BSP or SP. The density of population also affects the voters’ turnout. This time we have taken special care on distribution of tickets so that BJP gets maximum number of votes.
Swati: According to analysis BJP stands last in the race of 2012 Assembly elections in UP. Please explain?
Uma: Without taking the name of the magazine, I would like to recall what it wrote after doing a pre poll survey in UP. It said “BJP will evolve in Uttar Pradesh in a surprising manner”.
In my opinion Congress are hand in glove with both SP and BSP in UP. That’s precisely the reason for the party to act selectively like CBI being used. Actually, Congress, BSP and SP have joined hands against BJP.
Swati: So can I say that I am speaking with the next Chief Minister of UP?
Uma: I am not at all an aspirant for the post of CM. I just want to become the ‘Chaukidar’ of the state and put UP back on the developmental track. When it comes to fighting polls on the backdrop of development, I’m the pioneer in it. In Madhya Pradesh, I was the first leader whose poll issues were electricity, road and water.
Swati: Keeping senior leaders like Vinay Katiyar and Rajnath Singh at bay, Nitin Gadkari has chosen you as the BJP candidate from Charkari assembly and still you don’t want the CM’s chair. If you are fighting elections then why don’t you want to stay with the voters?
Uma: If my party has chosen me for this task then I will definitely do it. I will rigorously work for the development of the state.
Swati: Nitish Kumar is the face of BJP in Bihar, Narendra Modi in Gujarat, Shivraj Singh in MP. So don’t you think voters of UP must also get to see the face of their leader here?
Uma: In my opinion every leader should get a chance to become CM. The age-long dynastic rule within BSP, SP and Congress must be broken. This nepotism gives birth to the psychology that the picture of CM candidates in various elections should be clear. Dynasty rule is a burden on the democracy.
Swati: If you have left the ambition to become the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh then which factor is motivating you to fight the elections?
Uma: I want to eliminate poverty, corruption and hunger from the state. People of UP should choose MLAs and then they must choose a CM amongst them.
Swati: Was there any pressure on you to fight the UP elections?
Uma: I faced many problems after I quit BJP and understood that I may be a big name but without BJP I am nothing. I learnt a lesson that in a separate party, I would be facing lot of troubles and won’t be able to contribute to the society in a generous way.
BJP is a big platform for me. My ideologies will get fulfilled only within the party, nor outside or with any other party. So, I decided while re-entering the BJP that I will work on the path of my ideology whether I have to fight elections or not. Which post I should be given in the party will be the prerogative of party President.
Swati: Where lies your heart, in Uttar Pradesh or in Madhya Pradesh?
Uma: While talking to you, my heart is with ‘Ganges’, which flows from UP to Uttarakhnad to Bihar to West Bengal. For now I have slowed down my ‘Ganga andolan’ but will not allow anyone to do politics on it.
Swati: Inside BJP there are many who fear you. Since you are not confining yourself to UP and eyeing for a larger role, where do you find yourself standing in the national politics?
Uma: I am not dangerous… so no one has to fear me. But through your show I want make it clear that Mayawati, Mulayam Singh and Rahul Gandhi should be scared of me. I could be a danger to them.
Swati: Any message for Digvijay Singh?
Uma: Digvijay Singhji had challenged me and had told me that if he loses the MP elections then he will quit politics and promised to retreat to Himalayas, so please tell him to keep his words.
Swati: You made corruption as the main poll plank. BJP stood with Anna on the issue of Lokpal. But in a sudden turn of event your party had inducted Babu Singh Kuswaha?
Uma:This is an internal matter of the party on which I don’t want to comment.
Swati: Lastly what’s your say on Mayawati’s governance in Uttar Pradesh so far?
Uma: Mayawati is never available for the masses. Her government has been the most insensitive government so far. Corruption and crime is on peak under her rule. To support my concerns, I would like to give some examples:
A 14-year-old girl, Sonam belonging to a minority community was raped inside the police station and was murdered later. The case was further made worsen when the postmortem report said that it was a case of suicide. In another case, a Dalit young man named Vipin was shot by the cops, inside the police station. Shiru Nisad, belonging to a backward community was also tortured by the police.
So, the ‘elephant’ has smashed everyone in the state. Mayawati’s government is merciless. I simply wonder how a female can be so insensitive and cruel.
Adapted by: Sushmita Dutta