Giving a free hand to Amit Shah, general secretary and in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has moved its firebrand Hindutva leader Uma Bharti as election in-charge of Uttarakhand. The assignment also puts an end to speculation of Bharti contesting general election from Haridwar.
The appointment, coming a few months ahead of elections is seen as a move to give more space to Shah, a close aide of party’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi. Sources in the party said shifting of Bharti from to Uttarakhand will end one of the power centres in the state unit. “Bharti crossed Amit Shah line on several occasions and to avoid any differences among them which may have adverse effect on poll preparations, party president Rajnath Singh has shifted her to Uttarakhand,” said a party leader.
Sources said Shah, who is working hard in UP since his appointment as in-charge of the state unit, is also trying to end factionalism in the state unit to improve party’s tally which fallen from 59 in 1998 general election to nine in 2009 parliament election. Reshuffle is part of an exercise to end factionalism and show united face before the Lok sabha polls. However, another section in party believes that being vice-president of party she can not be made to work under Amit Shah, general secretary or vice versa. To accommodate Bharti, she has moved to Uttarakhand.
In June 2011 Bharti returned to BJP after six years and she has been entrusted with looking after UP. Bharti was expelled from the party in 2005 for indiscipline and defying party’s central leadership after she had objected to LK Advani’s praise of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. later, she had formed her own party.