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Spurned Bharti takes grievance to Advani

Our Political Bureau  |  New Delhi 

The dust is yet to settle over BJP President LK Advani's recent team-building exercise. Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti, who has not been put in charge of the BJP's Madhya Pradesh unit, met the party president for over two hours.
This has fuelled speculation that a rapprochement is on the cards between her and the party leadership.
Bharti, who earlier announced her intention to go on a pilgrimage to the Himalayas, is having second thoughts over the issue and wants to join the BJP executive, according to party sources.
"Bharti was initially offered the post of general secretary with charge of Delhi, which she declined because she wanted the charge of Madhya Pradesh if not a return to the chief minister's post," said a senior office bearer in the party.
There is a possibility that Bharti may yet land the post of general secretary after her "vacation" in the hills.
"Advani is quite upset over the kind of stories doing the rounds over the issue. However, he is quite fond of Bharti and feels that it is the coterie surrounding her that is the root cause of problems," he said.
The BJP leadership has protested against the move of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to close 15 corruption cases against Captain Satish Sharma, who allegedly made illegal petrol pump allotments as minister.
Party General Secretary pointed to procedural faults in the CBI's action.
"There is no need for the CBI to take permission from the home ministry to proceed against Sharma, as he is not a public servant at present, therefore the home ministry's letter asking that proceedings be stopped does not stand scrutiny," he said.
The party's statement, in fact, referred to the fact that the home ministry's letter came after Congress President attended the wedding of Sharma's daughter in Delhi.
The party said the matter was particularly shocking as the Centre continued to pursue with vigour the investigation into a similar scam during the National Democratic Alliance regime.
The party is expected to take up this matter further after the conclave in Hardwar.

First Published: Wed, November 03 2004. 00:00 IST