International Development News
Development News Edition
Give Feedback


PTI Bhopal
Updated: 04-12-2018 19:04 IST

Union minister Uma Bharti Tuesday

said she won't contest the next Lok Sabha elections.

The senior BJP leader's announcement came days after

her cabinet colleague Sushma Swaraj said she won't contest the

next LS polls.

Bharti said she will instead concentrate on the issues

of Ram temple in Ayodhya and cleanliness of the River Ganga

for the next one-and-a half years.

Bharti said she would "embark on a pilgrimage to

devote time for Ganga river and Lord Ram by leaving power".

The Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister, however,

clarified that she was not quitting politics.

External Affairs Minister Swaraj, who represents

Vidisha Lok Sabha seat in Madhya Pradesh, had last month

announced that she would not contest the 2019 polls due to

health reasons.

When asked about Swaraj's announcement, the Jhansi MP

said, "I am so sorry. I have said so (won't contest elections)

one or two years ago. Sushmaji has said it now. Don't link

both these things which are same, but the time and reasons are


Bharti announced that she would set out on a 2,500-km

yatra (pilgrimage) along the Ganga river on foot from Makar

Sankranti in January next year for nearly one-and-a-half years

by "leaving power".

"I believe that one has to go to the banks of the

Ganga river by leaving power and I am doing so for next

one-and-a-half years. But I will be campaigning and would do

politics till my last and that too with energy," Bharti told

reporters at her official residence.

"I will not do anything for the next one-and-a-half

years except (working) for the Ganga and Lord Ram," she said.

Bharti's statement came amid demands by the Sangh

parivar to expedite construction of a Ram temple at the

disputed site in Ayodhya.

The saffron leader, who was a prominent face in the

Ram Janmabhoomi movement of 1990s, said she is not retiring

from politics.

"I am not taking 'sanyas' (from politics). 'Sanyas' is

a different thing. I will do politics till my end. Nobody can

force me to leave politics. I will do it while being in the

BJP only. But for one-and-a-half years, I need Ganga (river),"

the Union minister said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)