NEW DELHI: Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Uma Bharti on Tuesday announced that she will not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election or any other elections for the next year-and-a-half as the union minister will instead concentrate on the issues of Ram temple in Ayodhya and cleanliness of the River Ganga.
Earlier in February this year, Bharti had announced that she would be taking a three-year hiatus from active politics over health issues. Interacting with the media, Bharti said her not contesting the election didn’t mean that she was retiring from the politics. “I will continue to work for the BJP till my last breath and participate in the campaigns,” she said.
Ms. 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”. Bharti’s statement came amid demands by the Sangh parivar to expedite construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
Last week Uma Bharti said that her party does not have a patent on the Ram temple and called all parties to come together to build the temple in Ayodhya.