New Delhi/Bhopal, April 3: The BJP appears to have decided to take back Uma Bharti, who was yesterday expelled by her party, the Bhartiya Jana Shakti.
BJP sources said Uma was ready to rejoin the parent party without conditions and, crucially, had agreed not to meddle in Madhya Pradesh politics.
There have been fresh moves (to get Uma back in the party), a senior party leader said.
The RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) is keen that everybody committed to the Hindutva ideology should come together before the next general election. The resistance to Umas re-entry has come down within the party, too.
Asked if Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan might not oppose Umas return, he replied: Umaji herself wants to concentrate on national politics.
In Bhopal, sources close to Uma said she and her loyalists were likely to rejoin the BJP around April 7 during Vasantik Navaratri, marked by nine days of fast and worship leading to Ram Navami.
Uma had to leave the BJP in 2005 after she revolted against the leadership. But though she hit out at Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani several times, her chief grudge was against second-rung leaders such as Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu and the late Pramod Mahajan.
She felt these leaders had conspired to keep her away from power in Madhya Pradesh, which she claimed to have won for the party. She would often boast that the BJP meant Uma Bharti in Madhya Pradesh.
But the situation has changed now with the BJS in tatters and the BJP maintaining its grip on the state without her popular appeal. Her trusted aides have begun deserting her and yesterday, 13 BJS state presidents met in Delhi to sack her as party president.
They elected Prahlad Patel, her former commander-in-chief, as the new president. Patel fell out with Uma when she showed an inclination to return to the BJP. Today he said her impending return to the BJP was the main reason behind the expulsion.
A well-entrenched lobby in the BJP, however, is still fiercely opposed to Umas return. Several past attempts at a return by her, the most serious one made during the Gujarat polls, came a cropper mainly because she handed ammunition to this group by making irresponsible statements.
Senior BJP leaders say Uma would have been back long ago had she been able to check her temperamental outbursts, which had annoyed even Sangh leaders.
Some BJP leaders, however, want her back in the party just because of her ability to take on the entrenched lobbies. They feel Umas antipathy towards some leaders in the Advani coterie could prove useful for them once she had re-established herself in the party.
Advani was wary of her return at first but, sources said, he gradually conceded that the unity of the Hindutva forces was a political imperative. Madan Lal Khurana, who had spit venom on Advani, has also been allowed to return.