Uma Bharti(born 3 May 1959) is an Indian politician and cabinet minister for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation in the Union Government of India. In 1989, she successfully contested the Khajuraho seat, and retained it in elections conducted in 1991, 1996 and 1998. In 1999, she switched constituencies and won the Bhopal seat. Bharati held various state-level and cabinet-level portfolios in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Tourism, Youth Affairs & Sports, and Coal & Mines during the second as well as third ministry of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Rise to prominence and Ram Janmabhoomi
Bharti rose to national prominence when she became one of the major faces of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement alongside L. K. Advani and others. Her fiery speeches are credited for helping the movement achieve the momentum that it did.
In the 1999 Lok Sabha elections, she switched constituencies and won the Bhopal seat. She became a cabinet member of the Vajpayee administration, and held various state- and cabinet-level portfolios, being Human Resource Development, Tourism, Youth Affairs and Sports, and finally Coal and Mines.
Bharti was appointed the Chief ministerial candidate of the BJP for the 2003 Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh. On the back of a fierce campaign based on a plank of development, and helped along by her reputation as a Hindutva firebrand, she led the party to a three-fourths majority in the legislature. She herself defeated her Congress opponent from the Malehra seat by a 25% margin.
Offices and Positions held
Uma Bharti has held various posts:
- 1988 onwards: vice-president, Bharatiya Janata Party, Madhya Pradesh
- 1989: elected to the 9th Lok Sabha
- 1990: member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Agriculture
- 1990–92: member, Consultative Committee, constituted under the Punjab State Legislature (Delegation of Power) Act, 1987
- 1991: re-elected to the 10th Lok Sabha
- 1991–93: member, Public Accounts Committee
- 1993 onwards: president, BJP Youth Wing
- 1996: re-elected to the 11th Lok Sabha
- 1996–97: member, Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests
- 1998: re-elected to the 12th Lok Sabha
- 1998–99: Union Minister of State, Human Resource Development
- 1999: re-elected to the 13th Lok Sabha (resigned on 18 December 2003)
- 13 October 1999 – 2 February 2000: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Tourism (resigned on 2 February 2000)
- 7 November 2000 – 25 August 2002: Union Cabinet Minister, Youth Affairs & Sports
- 26 August 2002 – 29 January 2003: Union Cabinet Minister, Coal and Mines
- 2003: elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Madhya Pradesh
- 8 December 2003 – 23 August 2004: Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh
- 2012: elected MLA, from Charkhari Seat of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly
- 2014: elected MP, Jhansi.
- 2014: Union Cabinet Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation