Uma merges party floated by her with BJP

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Uma Bharti
New Delhi, Jun 30: Nearly a month after her return to BJP, Uma Bharti on Wednesday, Jun 29 merged her Bhartiya Janshakti Party with her parent party in the presence of its president Nitin Gadkari at the party headquarters here.

Hundreds of Bhartiya Janshakti Party workers were inducted into the BJP in the presence of Bharti by the BJP President. Gadkari gave a special welcome to Sanghpriya Gautam, a close associate of Bharti.

Bharti, who was expelled from the BJP in December 2005, returned to the party fold on June 7, 2011. Her long expected return to the BJP was fecilitated by Gadkari, who was keen on bringing her back to the party.

BJP feels Bharti, a Lodh OBC leader, who has also been the party's Hindutva face earlier, will win back the right-wing party's wide support in Uttar Pradesh. While the BJP hopes to court the OBC voters, even the upper caste may stand behind the party due to Bharti's association with the Ayodhya movement.

Bharti's return was opposed by some central leaders as well as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who see her as a threat to their leadership.

Gadkari had stated upon her return that Bharti will campaign for the BJP in the UP elections, scheduled to take place early next year.

Sources said Bharti has been asked to keep away from her home state Madhya Pradesh, where she has also served as chief minister, as her detractors are opposed to her interference in the state's politics.

PTI

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