Senior BJP leader and former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Uma Bharti, has put to rest rumors of her retirement from politics, declaring her intention to contest in the upcoming elections. Speaking at a public gathering in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region on September 11, Bharti clarified that her absence from the political arena was merely a temporary break, emphasizing her unwavering commitment to politics.
Bharti explained her hiatus, stating, “I had refused to contest the election (last time) as I had been working for a long time. I thought of taking a break for five years. People thought that I left politics, but I am tired of saying that I have not quit politics.”
During her address, she highlighted various development projects, including the Ken-Betwa river inter-linking initiative and the Lalitpur-Singrauli rail line, crediting her political involvement for these accomplishments.
Asserting her dedication to politics, Bharti stated, “Whether I turn 75 or 85, I will remain active in politics and contest the next election. I like politics very much.” She expressed disappointment at the degradation of politics by those who see it as a source of luxury.
Madhya Pradesh is set to hold assembly elections in November this year, with Lok Sabha elections scheduled for the following year. Bharti last contested the Lok Sabha election from Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, in 2014, securing a victory and subsequently serving as a Union Minister in the Narendra Modi-led BJP government.
Recently, Uma Bharti expressed her discontent for not receiving an invitation to the BJP’s ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ initiated by party president J. P. Nadda on September 3. Her involvement in politics has been marked by activism, including campaigning for a stringent liquor policy in the state, where she protested by pelting stones at liquor shops and even staged a temple protest demanding amendments to the liquor policy.
In a notable development, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan included Bharti’s nephew, Rahul Singh Lodhi, MLA from Khargapur (Tikamgarh district), in his Cabinet as a Minister of State during a recent expansion in August.
Uma Bharti’s return to the political arena is eagerly anticipated by her supporters, and her determination to contest the forthcoming elections adds a new dimension to the state’s political landscape.