BJP won due to money, muscle power: Uma Bharti after defeat

December 9th, 2008 - 7:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyBhopal, Dec 9 (IANS) A day after her Bhartiya Jan Shakti (BJS) party’s rout in the Madhya Pradesh polls, former chief minister Uma Bharti Tuesday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won due to sheer “money and muscle power”.”It was a victory of money and muscle power coupled with false propaganda,” Bharti, who was expelled from the BJP in 2004, told reporters. She herself lost the elections from the Tikamgarh seat.

Bharti said she was neither depressed nor she would she accept the defeat of her party “so easily” because the elections were “not free and fair and we couldn’t compete with the BJP in money and muscle power”.

“Officials in most places, specially in Tikamgarh from where I was contesting, worked as a tool of the BJP and many people were not allowed to cast their vote,” she alleged. The BJP won 143 seats in the 230-seat house to retain power.

Bharti claimed that when she called up the Tikamgarh collector and the poll observers to complain they were not available. She said she complained to the poll panel the same day and was assured of appropriate action in case he received a complaint from the district returning officer (collector). But she alleged the Tikamgarh collector was working for the BJP and never sent her complaint to the Election Commission.

“The BJP not only misused the official machinery but even financed the Congress candidate contesting against me because it knew that it will not be able to defeat me alone, otherwise how could I be defeated in my home.”

Declaring a war on the BJP, the firebrand sanyasin said, “We will not tolerate this and take to the streets to mobilize the electorate in our party’s favour. Soon you will see our agitations on the road. I don’t consider the BJP victory as people’s mandate, but democracy has been held to ransom.”

On Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s ability to retain power, Bharti said, “I still don’t consider him as an able person. Getting power when in power is easy. It is difficult to come to power when on the road (out of power). The BJP would not have won a single seat if the elections were free and fair.”

Bharti, who initially said she would not contest the elections, changed her mind and decided to enter the race from Tikamgarh. She was humbled at the hands of Yadvendra Singh Bundela of the Congress in her seat. She lost by a margin of 9,828 votes.

The BJS party fielded 215 candidates, including BJP rebels in 12 constituencies, and only three of them could make it to the house.

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