Adding another chapter to the rivalry between Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and former CM Uma Bharti,the Special Task Force (STF) probing the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam leaked Bhartis name,only to give a clean chit later.
Smarting from the defeat of her nephew and some supporters in the recent Assembly elections,the BJP vice-president has taken public offence to what she feels is a motivated leak when her name figures neither as an accused nor a co-accused but is only mentioned in the FIRs summary.
After reading her name in local newspapers Thursday,an angry Bharti,who was in Delhi,wrote to DGP Nandan Dubey seeking an appointment on Friday.
My private-political life has remained untainted. When I read my name in the newspapers,I was surprised. The STF has neither made a statement nor contacted me,and yet quoting STF sources my name and photograph have appeared. I want to cooperate in the probe by giving my statement, she said in a letter to the DGP.
Later in the day,the STF clarified that Bhartis name does not figure in the FIR and she is not being investigated. Not satisfied,Bharti insisted on meeting the DGP on Friday for a wide-ranging discussion on the scam.
About ten days ago,she had favoured a CBI inquiry. Simultaneously,she announced that she would take up the issue of illegal mining by Rio Tinto. She accused the diamond major of spiriting away diamonds worth crores without proper permission and at the cost of environment and welfare of locals. Sources close to her alleged Bhartis name was deliberately leaked to defame her.
Addressing a press conference at her residence after the exit polls predicted a handsome victory for the BJP,she had hoped local leaders would no longer remain suspicious of her intentions to topple the Chouhan government. Her return to the BJP was on the condition that she wouldnt interfere in the affairs of the state.
The BJP rode to power in 2003 after projecting her as the chief ministerial candidate but she had to quit the post eight months later. When she was leading her own party Bharatiya Janshakti,she would often call Chouhan baccha chor (child lifter) for allegedly stealing a government she helped form.