"I was worthy of being invited to the Yatra launch," Uma Bharti said.
Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and the BJP's senior leader Uma Bharti was not invited by the party for the Jan Ashirwad Yatra flagged off by party chief JP Nadda today. "May be they (the BJP leaders) are nervous that if I'm there, then entire public attention will be on me," said the 64-year-old. "If Jyotiraditya Scindia helped them form the government (in 2020), even I helped them form a bigger majority government (in 2003)," Uma Bharti said, suggesting that she did not get an invite.
"He (Scindia) is loved by me as a nephew, but at least I was worthy of being invited to the Yatra launch, even though I wouldn't have gone there. But I'll still campaign for the BJP and solicit votes for the party in the coming polls," added the firebrand leader, once known to be close to party veteran LK Advani.
The BJP is yet to comment on the omission. But the state's Opposition Congress said it was a clear sign that Ms Bharti, one of the frontal leaders of Ram Temple movement which brought the BJP to limelight, is being sidelined.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala -- who was in Bhopal today said that BJP "insults its leaders".
"The party sidelined former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani, retired Murli Manohar Joshi... In our culture, even God does not forgive the one who does not respect elders," he told reporters when asked about the matter.
In 2003, Uma Bharti had ended the rule of the Congress government headed by Digvijaya Singh in Madhya Pradesh by a three-fourths majority. But in 2005, she was expelled from the party for indiscipline and taken back only in 2011.
In 2013, appointed one of the 13 vice-presidents to steer the party through the Lok Sabha elections, she had shot down then party colleague Yashwant Sinha's idea that Narendra Modi be declared the NDA's prime ministerial candidate because of his immense popularity.
Popularity cannot decide the prime ministerial candidate and there were several leaders with lesser mass appeal who could be very efficient as Prime Minister, she had told NDTV in an exclusive interview.