Uma Bharati is trudging through the interiors of Madhya Pradesh, mostly out of the range of mobile phones. Saba Naqvi Bhaumik spoke to her while she was taking a lunch break in a tiny village near Gairat Ganj. Excerpts:
Is there any one BJP leader you are particularly angry with?
I don't want to talk about them. I've said what I had to about individuals. Now I'm fighting a bigger battle.
How do you feel after expulsion?
I want to issue an appeal through you. The Election Commission ensures democracy in the country. I want them to work on a law that will ensure internal democracy in political parties. What the BJP is calling collective leadership is a selective leadership based on the whims and fancies of a few individuals. When I come next to Delhi, I will take this up with the EC. I will not spare the BJP when I talk of lack of internal democracy.
The party will soon celebrate its silver jubilee. How do you feel about being absent? Also, can you respond to reports that Venkaiah Naidu is being promoted as president?
If all those people who worked hard to get the party into power in the states and made it such a big player in Delhi are absent, no one will take the Mumbai national executive seriously. People will laugh at the BJP. It will not be a celebration but a big joke. I don't want to respond about individuals but the BJP is making a mockery of itself.
The BJP just ignored the anniversary of the Babri demolition. Why're you harping on such a divisive issue?
I'm not talking about building a temple at Ayodhya. That is an agitation of the VHP that I have supported. This time, I'm not launching a movement for construction of a Ram mandir. I'm only going there to bow my head and pray.
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