'Gujarat a victory of Hindus, not of Modi' : Uma Bharti

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New Delhi, Dec 23 (UNI) Bharatiya Janashakti Party President and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti today said the BJP retaining power in Gujarat was the ''victory of the Hindus and not that of Chief Minister Narendra Modi'' as being perceived.

Reacting to the election results, Ms Bharti, who was expelled from the party, said she was not surprised by the outcome after the Congress party tried to whip up communal passions during the past 10 days of campaigning. While Congress President Sonia Gandhi spoke of ''merchants of death'', Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke of reopening the post-Godhra riot cases. ''The Hindus of the state became united to defeat the Congress decisively,'' she said.

About her party candidates in the fray, she said she did not want to field the candidates but they contested as Independents after she declined to nominate them as party candidates.

She added that she did not feel Gujarat was a victory for Mr Modi. The results of the Gujarat elections will not have an impact at the national level because Gujarat was a case of ''extreme polarisation'' which was not the case outside the state.

On Mr Modi getting a bigger role in the national politics, Ms Bharti said ''he would not have any such role.'' ''He was asked not to come to Madhya Pradesh Punjab or Bihar till very recently,'' she added.

To a query on her return to the BJP, Ms Bharti recalled how she was removed from the party after she raised voice against ''power brokers''. The BJP was unclear on 'Hindutva' whereas she was clear about it although she was in a smaller party of her own. ''BJP is like a large tunnel where one can't make a U-turn,'' she remarked.

UNI

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