Uma Bharati, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, announced her exit from the Lok Sabha elections, 2019, on Tuesday.
Uma Bharati, the Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, said, she will focus on building the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and the cleanliness of river Ganga for the next one and a half years.
Ms. Bharati addressed the media and said, “From January 15, 2019, I will go on a Ganga Yatra for one and a half years, after taking permission from BJP national president, Amit Shah. I will spend the time on the banks of the Ganga. I will also work for Ram temple, which is an issue of faith and belief.”
Ms. Bharati said, she served her life to the BJP and will support the party till her last breath. She added, although she is taking a break from the elections, she will participate in every BJP campaign.
Ms. Bharati also clarified, her not contesting the elections doesn’t mean she is retiring from politics.
Leaders of the Congress targeted Ms. Bharati’s decision and criticised the BJP.
Shobha Oza, a Congress spokesperson, said, “People are disillusioned with the promises of the BJP government. Its leaders have realized that and are therefore making lame excuses for not contesting the election.As far as the Ram temple is concerned, BJP has been contesting elections on this issue for the past so many years and have come back with the same this time too. People are not going to believe them.”
Uma Bharati’s announcement comes a few days after Sushma Swaraj, the Minister of External Affairs of India, exited from the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.