25 January, 2021

Pilgrim's Regress

Uma Bharati, spurned by the BJP, hits the road. But Ayodhya is a vanvas with faint hope of a comeback. Updates

Vivek Pateria
Pilgrim's Regress
There is an OBC in the chair in Bhopal. Shivraj Singh Chauhan, the new CM of Madhya Pradesh, is technically a 'backward'. But with none of the flamboyance and charisma that made Uma Bharati one of the most spectacular performers of the Hindu right. He is dull, stable and can easily be ignored in a room full of saffron leaders. Certainly, easy for the party high command to handle. But he is no natural born leader and crowd-puller like Uma Bharati.

The sanyasin may be cornered following her suspension from the BJP. "Usko mara aur rone bhi nahin diya (they beat her and didn't even let her cry)," says K. Govindacharya. But hard as it may try, the BJP will discover that it is not easy to reduce someone like Uma Bharati to a cipher. The manner in which she has hit the streets in the course of her padayatra to Ayodhya is evidence of her energy and resolve. "I am the real BJP," she thunders. "I want to warn Atal and Advani that the aircraft has been hijacked by a gang."

This could well be Uma's final exit from the BJP. In a sense, it marks the changing face of a party...


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