Vadodara, Nov 25 (UNI) Bhartiya Janshakti Party (BJSP) supremo Uma Bharti today set to rest all speculation about her return to BJP by announcing that her party would contest the forthcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat without any alliance with BJP.
Ms Bharti, who had earlier asked her party's candidates to contest as independents with a view to avoiding any division in Hindu votes, was virtually forced to change her mind following fervent appeals by the party candidates at a meeting here this evening.
As Ms Bharti made a similar appeal to the party candidates again at a news briefing before leaving for Delhi, the demoralised party leaders continued to raise slogans requesting her not to leave them at this juncture. After nearly ten minutes of slogan shouting, the firebrand leader conceded their demand and announced that BJSP would contest the polls.
BJSP has decided to field 60 candidates in the polls.
State party unit president Chaitanya Sambhu Maharaj said 27 candidates of the party had already filed their nominations and today's meeting was attended by 20 candidates and leaders. Among them were sitting BJP MLAs Sunil Ojha (Bhavnagar) and Ramesh Mishtri, former MP K D Jeshwani and former minister Rajnikant Rajwadi.
Ms Bharti arrived here early today to discuss with her state party leaders and candidates whether to withdraw its candidates from state Assembly polls or not in view of the concern expressed by her guru Pejawar Vishveshwara Teerth. She said she had no personal grudge against Chief Minister Narendra Modi, except for differences with the BJP on the issues of its ideology, its policies and Hindutva.
She said the 2004 Lok Sabha election results of Gujarat had paved the way for Congress to come back to power and moreover, the situation in the state had turned from bad to worse since the elections.
The BJSP chief said she had requested her party candidates to contest as independents in order to prevent Congress from capturing power in Gujarat.