The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday appointed Union minister Uma Bharti, who has decided not to contest the Lok Sabha polls, its national vice-president. Bharti, who represents Jhansi in the Lok Sabha, was brought in as a senior office bearer after she conveyed to the BJP leadership her wish to not contest the coming general elections. The Hindutva leader has said she wants to go on a 18-month-long pilgrimage from May.
In December, Uma Bharti had already announced that she won't contest the next Lok Sabha elections. The senior BJP leader's announcement came days after her cabinet colleague Sushma Swaraj said she won't contest the next General Elections.
Bharti said she will instead concentrate on the issues of Ram temple in Ayodhya and cleanliness of the River Ganga for the next one-and-a half years. Bharti said she would "embark on a pilgrimage to devote time for Ganga river and Lord Ram by leaving power".
The Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister, however, clarified that she was not quitting politics. External Affairs Minister Swaraj, who represents Vidisha Lok Sabha seat in Madhya Pradesh, had in November last year announced that she would not contest the 2019 polls due to health reasons.