Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah had decided to show the door to Union Minister Uma Bharti, but RSS intervention ensured it was not to be, informed sources said on Sunday.
However, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) could not fully help Bharti -- a parliamentarian from Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh -- as her political stature went down after Sunday's reshuffle and expansion of the Union Cabinet -- her Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation portfolio was handed over to Nitin Gadkari while she was left with only Drinking Water and Sanitation Ministry.
The sources said that the Bharatiya Janata Party President, who participated in the RSS three-day coordination committee meeting in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh from September 1, discussed the then impending Cabinet reshuffle and the "bad performance" of Bharti and other ministerial colleagues and the plans to remove them.
However, the sources added, the RSS leadership advised Shah not to go ahead with her removal since "it will send out a wrong message".
After former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh parted ways with the BJP, the party had faced a setback as his Lodha community had shifted its political alliance too. Since Bharti also enjoys influence in the backward community, the BJP leadership too did not want to open a new front by sacking her.
Cut to size in the reshuffle, Bharti vented her anger by remaining absent from the swearing-in event held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.