Is it the end of road for Uma Bharati?
Posted July 13, 2009on:
The fire in firebrand Uma Bharati is dying down. All that is left out is a smouldering piece of log, with occasional flickers. Her politics seems to be at an end, at least for the time being.
Earlier this month, some activists of her Bharatiya Jana Shakti (BJS) held an angry demonstration in front of a Public Health Engineering (PHE) office in Bhopal in protest against non-supply of drinking water and blackened the face of an executive engineer. Uma Bharati wrote to the executive engineer apologising for the behaviour of her party workers. This was in sharp contrast to the Uma Bharati of last year when she had herself broken the locks of a fair price shop and asked the poor to carry away the food grains. This was in protest against the State government’s decision to permit the public distribution system (PDS) shops to be opened only for three days in a month.
Like Arjun Singh, she is a victim of her own megalomania. But unlike Arjun Singh, she has no control over her tongue or temperament. Having been pampered like a spoilt brat by the BJP and other organs of the Sangh Parivar, Uma had started believing that the BJP would collapse without her. Before and after her exit from the BJP in November 2005, she was at her vilest, using the most vulgar language against the BJP leaders whom she saw as conspiring against her. Babulal Gaur, who was the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, and M.Venkaiah Naidu, who was in charge of the Madhya Pradesh affairs, were special targets of her obscenities. She, though, did not spare even Lal Krishna Advani, the late Pramod Mahajan and even Arun Jaitley, not to speak of Shivraj Singh Chauhan who had succeeded Gaur as the chief minister even as she was herself expecting to be made the chief minister.
She formed her BJS with a vow to finish off the BJP and was able to draw to her outfit some hard working BJP activists who were not happy with the way the Chauhan government was being run by “touts and power-brokers”. Uma Bharati, however, lacked the patience and forbearance required to build up an organisation and, therefore, did not know how to handle the experienced political workers who had joined her. She became erratic in her decisions and more short tempered, occasionally suffering from fits of depression. Her tongue became more acerbic about the BJP leaders, particularly Advani. Once she went to the extent of describing Advani as a security threat.
Last year’s Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections marked a watershed in her political career. By that time, most of the BJP leaders who had left the party to join her bandwagon, had been lured back to the BJP by Chauhan by dangling before them carrots like Rajya Sabha seat or the party ticket for the Assembly. Already they had become fed up with the Sadhvi’s mercurial mind. Still, it goes to her credit that during the Assembly election campaign she exposed the Chauhan government’s corruption and misdeeds more effectively than the Congress which is the main opposition party in the State. A fiery speaker as she is (or was), she drew huge crowds while traversing the State. She, however, failed to get the majority of which she was more than confident. That sent her in a longish fit of depression.
By the time she emerged from her depression (which she euphemistically calls meditation), she had lost the will to lead or strengthen her political outfit. Then one day she suddenly and unilaterally declared her support to Lal Krishna Advani as the next Prime Minister and dashed to Delhi to meet him, leaving the BJS leaders in Madhya Pradesh dumbfounded and embarrassed. In Delhi she did not receive the welcome which she must have been expecting. She avoided Madhya Pradesh during the Lok Sabha election campaign, though she was occasionally heard of as travelling some western Uttar Pradesh areas. A BJS leader remarked that Uma Bharati was probably hoping that Advani, after becoming the Prime Minister, would be magnanimous enough to rehabilitate her. The Lok Sabha election outcome not only shattered Advani’s romantic dream but also sent Uma Bharati into an abyss.
Quietly, meekly and almost surreptitiously, she called a meeting of her BJS at Bhopal late last month. It was a lamentably non-event. Mercifully for her, the Liberhan Commission report was submitted to the Prime Minister in Delhi the same day and she used the opportunity to declare that she was prepared to be hanged for her role in the Babri masjid demolition. It did get her some publicity but not the type to which she had been addicted. Even the media has stopped caring for her.
She is said to have once again gone into meditation (or depression) leaving her BJS workers once again in the lurch.