New Delhi: A day after BJP fielded Uma Bharti from Charkari Assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh, the firebrand OBC leader on Thursday said that she will teach a tough lesson to Rahul Gandhi, who is Congress party’ star campaigner in the state elections.
Speaking to reporters, Uma Bharti said, “I have once defeated Rahul Gandhi’s mentor Digvijay Singh in Madhya Pradesh, I will defeat Rahul too.”
Taking a potshot at the Gandhi family, Bharti claimed that she was not a foreign import like the Gandhis, but a real Indian by birth.
“I am not an outsider like Sonia Gandhi and her family. I am from Madhya Pradesh only and I hope that people in Uttar Pradesh will accept me.”
Coming down hard on Congress’s Muslim appeasement policy and minority card, the BJP leader said, “The Congress party will pay heavily for its divisive policies. While the minority should get education and employment, it should not be at the cost of OBCs. They have been deprived of their rights.”
Bharti told reporters here that the priority of the party is to come to power in the state and make it into "Uttam Pradesh".
Her reactions came shortly after Rahul Gandhi said, “Just 15 days ahead of elections, a BJP leader has come to the state. Where was she when the Bundelkhand region was passing through a difficult phase? Where was she when people were facing huge problems?
Taking a dig at Bharti, the Congress general secretary said, “When she was expelled from MP, she was roaming in Delhi and now she has come to Uttar Pradesh.”
Reactions and counter-reactions from the two sides came a day after BJP high command ended speculation over Bharti’s candidature and fielded her from Charkari Assembly seat in the Mahoba district of the state.
However, it stopped short of clearing the air on who will be party’s chief ministerial candidate.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari yesterday said former CM Rajnath Singh, Bharti, party veteran Kalraj Mishra and Surya Pratap Sahi will lead the party campaign together in the state where BJP had won 48 seats in the last elections in 2007.
Last year in June, Bharti had rejoined BJP nearly six years after her expulsion.
52-year-old Bharti was expelled on the charge of indiscipline and defying the BJP`s central leadership in December 2005. Bharti had then formed her own outfit Bhartiya Janshakti Party.