Charges of rioting and promoting enmity between different groups in Ayodhya are among the 13 cases pending against firebrand BJP leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti, the party's candidate for this Lok Sabha seat.
As to her financial status, Bharti has declared assets worth Rs 1.43 crore -- movable property of Rs 46.26 lakh and immovable assets worth Rs 97.50 lakh. She has declared cash in hand of Rs 2.5 lakh in her affidavit filed with Election Commission while submitting her nomination papers. Her affidavit states that she does not own a car or any other vehicle.
Bharti, who is also a former Union minister, was named in an FIR registered in 1992 at the Ram Janmabhoomi Ayodhya police station in Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad district, according to the affidavit. The 55-year-old Bharti is facing charges under Sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505 (statements intended to cause public mischief) of Indian Penal Code.
A special court in Rae Bareli took cognisance of the case on July 28, 2005, while it had framed charges against her on September 19, 2003. The proceedings in this particular case have not been stayed by competent courts, her affidavit states. Apart from the above, 12 other cases are registered against Bharti at various police stations in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh involving charges of attempt to murder, defamation, rioting, obscene acts and songs and wrongful restraint, among others, the affidavit adds.
However, the proceedings in three cases registered against Bharti in Uttar Pradesh's Mahoba area have been stayed by Allahabad High Court. The charges in these cases pertain to assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty and disobedience to order promulgated by a public servant (Sections 353 and 188 of IPC, respectively). Bharti is currently an MLA from the Mahoba Assembly constituency.
On the other hand, the Madhya Pradesh government has moved court for closure of five cases against the BJP leader.
These cases involve charges of attempt to murder and making obscene acts and songs (Sections 307 and 294 of IPC), among others, and were registered by police in 2006 in the Bada Malhara area in Chhatarpur district of MP, the affidavit said. Bharti is facing Congress's Pradeep Kumar Jain, the sitting MP and also the Union Minister of State for Rural Development, in the battle for the Jhansi seat, which will go to polls on April 30.
Also in the fray against her are BSP's Anuradha Sharma and SP's Chandrapal Singh Yadav.