Citing health reasons, Union Minister Uma Bharati on Tuesday announced that she would not contest any elections in the next three years but said she was not retiring from politics.
The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said she had conveyed her health concerns to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2016 and party chief Amit Shah in May 2017. While the Prime Minister asked her to reduce weight, the party chief asked her to continue in office, she told reporters at her official bungalow on Shyamla Hills in Bhopal.
She said her knee and waist pain was not bad enough to warrant a surgery and that she would need three years to lead a less hectic life to improve health. She said she would be available for campaigning though and clarified that her announcement not to contest any election in next three years should not be interpreted as “sanyas”.
She said she was not old enough and would take a call on contesting elections after three years because she would still be well under 75 years — the age bar believed to be followed by the BJP although party chief Amit Shah has denied existence of such a criterion.
Madhya Pradesh goes to poll later this year. She said she was not interested in contesting the assembly elections but reiterated as “fact” that she was instrumental in forming the BJP government in MP in 2003-end.
The MP from Jhansi listed Ramjanmabhoomi verdict of 2010, BJP getting full majority (2014) and Yogi Adityanath becoming chief minister of Uttar Pradesh as the happiest moments of her life. She described the allegation about her involvement in Vyapam scam as one of the sad moments in life and called it a conspiracy.