Union Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharti today said the newly-appointed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was the most suitable candidate for the job. "Yogi-ji is a balanced person. He has long experience in Parliament and has carried forward an ideology. I think he is most suitable for a state like Uttar Pradesh and would establish new dimensions (of governance)," Bharti said here. "One should not judge him by his robes. He has taken 'sannyas' and it is his personal life style. We have to see whether he is a good politician, whether he has the capacity to take along everyone...
And he is most suitable from these viewpoints," she said.
Adityanath was the unanimous choice for CM's post, Bharti claimed.
Asked about his image as a Hindutva hardliner, Bharti said maximum number of shops at his ashram in Gorakhpur are owned by Muslims.
On rising opposition to EVMs following the Uttar Pradesh poll results, Bharti, who herself once opposed these machines, said, "Election Commission has settled this issue long back. It has demonstrated that EVM cannot be tampered with and its view should be accepted."
When asked whether she made a mistake by quitting as Madhya Pradesh CM in 2004, Bharti defended her decision. She decided to resign because of a case related to the national flag, and she had no regrets, the senior BJP leader said.
She also praised the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's leadership, and denied having called him "Baccha Chor" (child lifter) when she was denied power in 2005.
"I had said this about someone who is no more," she said. "I wish he (Chouhan) breaks my record (of winning 173 seats) by winning more than 175 out of the 230 Assembly seats in MP," she added.
(Reopens BES 23) Expressing anguish over being invited to Madhya Pradesh to campaign only in the areas dominated by a particular caste during elections, Bharti, who belongs to the Lodhi community, said, "I am a sannyasi and I represent all sections of the society. But during elections in Madhya Pradesh, I am asked to campaign in the area dominated by a particular caste. I will not allow this to happen again." When asked why she is not asked by the BJP to campaign everywhere in Madhya Pradesh and why she is not invited to campaign committee meetings despite her praise of Chief Minister Chouhan's leadership, Bharti said tersely, "It's good that they don't need my presence.