Debating India


Sulking Uma blames it on heavens

Mohua Chatterjee

Friday 12 November 2004, by CHATTERJEE*Mohua

NEW DELHI: A day after she pooped L K Advani’s party in full public glare, Uma Bharti played a doting but defiant daughter. She also sought to guilt-trip the "father" for throwing her out of the house on Diwali-eve.

Living up to her "maverick" billing, Bharti called on Advani late on Thursday night to deliver an emotional letter where she called the BJP chief her father.

While what transpired at the meeting could not be ascertained, her three-page letter did not quite read like a regret note. Blaming the showdown with Advani on the stars, the fiery sanyasin disputed the leadership’s case that she was guilty of indiscipline. "I cannot cite any evidence of that."

Her defiance also showed through the remark that it was difficult to say who, she or the leadership, stood to be damaged more by Wednesday’s fireworks. There was also the declaration that she would not let Advani’s decision influence her fate.

Her letter delivered, Bharti left for Kedarnath for what she called a 15-day "pilgrimage" that would involve a four-day trek in the cold mountains. It would also necessarily make her incommunicado, thus leaving all initiative now with Advani.

The overall tone of Bharti’s letter, released at a press conference, was friendly, and she disavowed any intention of hurting the party.

Her decision to visit Vajpayee, who had pleaded for her to be given an opportunity to explain her conduct, after seeing Advani, was also interpreted as her disinclination not to exacerbate matters.

Party sources played down her refusal to concede she had breached discipline. They said it was too early to expect her to appear to have succumbed.

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