Union Minister Uma Bharti has decided not to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, according to reports. The move comes days after her party colleague and Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made a similiar announcement, citing her health issues.
Bharti served as the Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation from May 26, 2014 to September 1, 2017 before being appointed as Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation.
"When I had a talk with Amit ji (BJP president Amit Shah) in 2016, then also he said I should not resign. So, the party will take the decision on this. But I will only work for Ganga ji and Ram for 1.5 year," news agency ANI quoted Bharti as saying.
“I am suffering from knee and back problems, and to recover, I will take some rest. I will not fight elections for the next three years,” she had told reporters in Bhopal in February this year.
Bharti was Madhya Pradesh chief minister for a little less than a year in 2003-4. She had last week said that her party does not have a patent on the Ram temple and called all parties to come together to build the temple in Ayodhya.
Reports suggest the BJP leader would take a break from active politics to focus on the issue of Ram Temple and cleanliness of the river Ganga. According to the Union minister, there is a need to build a positive environment for an ordinance on construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
“The need is build consensus among all parties. The issue of Ram temple is connected with the harmony of this country, therefore, the issue must be resolved at the earliest,” she said.